3 Ways To Break Through The Seasonal Funk

3 Ways To Break Through The Seasonal Funk

Here's how to beat the sadness that comes with winter.

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You might not be aware, but the seasons can have a big impact on a person's mood and overall mental wellbeing.

Seasonal affective disorder, or winter blues as some people like to call it, can lead to a sluggish, unproductive mood that makes you want to curl in bed all day.

As we wait for spring to make everything green again, here are three tips if you're feeling that seasonal slump.

Stay in, but make it a good night

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

We've all canceled plans because we felt like we just could not brave a night out. Learn to do so apologetically. The people closest to you will probably understand the days when you're in need of some serious time reconnecting with yourself.

If you do decide to skip out on a movie or girls' night, make sure your evening is spent well. Don't spend the evening laying in bed, checking your phone and thinking maybe you would have had more fun going out.

Have a movie on Netflix you keep forgetting to watch? A tub of ice cream in the freezer? A new book that keeps getting put on the shelf? Is a bath bomb just waiting to be used?

By doing the things you keep pushing back, you're allowing yourself to feel productive and pampered.

Redecorate your space

Photo by Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

Now I'm not talking about a $1,000 shopping spree at your local Target. But we all have a few projects for our bedroom or home that we keep pushing back. I'm a firm believer that your external space is reflective of your internal state. If you're ever feeling cramped or unproductive, you might do with a change.

I recently hung up some shelves in an empty wall space I've been criticizing for months. Not only do I have a new look, but every time I look at those shelves, I get such a sense of accomplishment from doing something on my to-do list that kept getting pushed back.

It can be as simple as buying a picture frame to put a fun memory in or laying out a new blanket, so you can feel cozy. Anytime I work on the space around me, I feel like I'm also working on me.

Start writing

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

You may not feel like a writer, but I'm about to reveal the easiest method that will make you proud to put something on paper: Reflections. You certainly don't have to be a wordsmith in order to organize your thoughts.

I've recently started writing a list at the end of the day of three good moments and three bad moments during the day. Not only has this made me realize that each day is truly not a bad day, but it also helps me reflect on the day. Most of the time, we travel through life and never think of all of the little, insignificant moments that bring us simple happiness or frustration. In doing so, I've learned to become more intentional throughout my day. It also helps me realize what continually brings me happiness. I always add in the good list when I feel productive or hang out with those I love, so I am trying to incorporate that more into my daily routine.

I hope these tips help you get through all of the "post-holiday-why-is-it-so-cold?" sadness that seems to come with January and February. And remember, Spring is on the horizon.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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How To Bloom This Spring

Embrace the season of growth

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I've always said that spring is my favorite season. Life is full of seasons. Happy seasons, sprinkled with some somber ones. Some difficult seasons, and seasons of love. But through every season of life, there is always something beautiful. Usually in the darkest of seasons, a season of light follows soon behind. And so, through every cold day, I'd feel the darkness in my bones. It would lie heavily on my spirit. I was never too worried, however. Because I knew that the world would soon allow the brightness of spring to illuminate my world and allow joy to find itself once again.

So, I'd like to talk about what spring means to me. Aside from the tangible manifestation of spring—whether it be the flowers, or the buds popping through, or perhaps longer days, and vibrant energy—it's the idea of spring that I personally associate with so greatly.

Spring is all about finding light after darkness. It's about poking your head through the earth even if there's a layer of snow covering the ground. It's about taking that first step toward of a journey of growth.

I always talk about this one particular type of day. The very first spring day. And I'm not talking about the calendar day. But it's first day where you don't have to wear a jacket, and all you want to do is be outside. It is a weight lifted from your spirit, and it is permission to feel the sunlight seep into your pores. The beautiful weather can dictate your growth. It can inspire you to change with the season, to jut out of your darkness and to bloom.

So this spring, allow the beauty of the flowers and the trees, the songs of the birds, and the long, wonderful days of sunlight to foster some growth. Choose to go outside, spend time with people you care about. Allow yourself to listen to what you need. When you take off your jacket this spring, take off any negativity from your life along with it. Free yourself of impurity and pressure in an effort to release into a state of liberation. Spring is the time for rebirth. Ask yourself this spring: What would you like to change? What would you like to do? But most of all, ask yourself what would make you happy. Take this spring to bloom into a better version of yourself. Allow yourself to fall deeply in love this season.

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