I can't be the first one to admit I hate the winter months. I blame this wholeheartedly on the weather. And from, that I blame my mood. And because of that falls my lack of energy, motivation, pretty much everything. Thus introducing seasonal depression (can also be described as seasonal affective disorder).
Seasonal depression by definition is defined as a type of depression related to changes in the season, usually beginning and ending at the same time every year.
Now I'm no health expert, nor am I clinically diagnosed with anything; however, I'm one to say we are pretty in tune with our own bodies and own emotions that we know what we feel when we feel it.
I am in no way trying to invalidate or offend anyone who is actually clinically diagnosed with depression or seasonal depression or anything of that sort! However, this is what I'm feeling and we're just gonna run with that.
I was listening to a podcast this morning (ironically titled "How to Make December Count") and she, being Kalyn Nicholson, described her newfound definition of depression as being seen as "deep rest" that's why it's called "depressed." It's our bodies way of being in a deep sense of rest or need for it. And because of that, I seriously feel seasonal depression hitting me hard this year.
I'm aching for more daylight and higher energy levels. It seems no matter how hard I try, I'm still lacking in those daily needs.
It's been proven (as explained in the podcast) that sunlight does improve our daily lives. Whether it be through Vitamin D, boost the serotonin, or literal recognition of time of day. And I'm aching for it!
I just have to be thankful I don't live in somewhere like northern Alaska where there's literally only three hours of daylight.
Because of all this, it seems that all I want for Christmas is… some serious self-care.
I'm the first to admit and push the sense of self-care and taking care of your body mentally and physically, yet for some reason, I can't listen to my own advice once November and December roll around.
Seriously, I went to bed at 8 p.m. the other night and slept for 11 hours when I should have been studying but do I regret it? Absolutely not. Did it help my mental mood? Maybe, maybe not, that's still to be determined.
I don't know if I have this heavy onset of seasonal depression because I'm in one of my tougher quarters of college, my lack of passion for daily desires (that's a story for another time), or my sense of knowing who I am so much more this year. I know who I am, I know my moods, so I knew this feeling and these darker months were going to be inevitable, yet still, here we are!
I feel like regardless of what negativity I'm giving off to the world, I still need to offer some sort of positives when feeling like this. Because let's be real, I'm allowing myself to wallow and sleep away these darker afternoons when I'm not slammed with homework or responsibilities, but I'm still trying to do things to avoid this.
I mean, I'm always one to say that the cold is only fun if there's snow and when you live in a state where all we seem to get is rain, not snow, you can see where all my fun goes (don't get me wrong, I love the rain but…snow soon please, OK?)
For lack of better term, some ways to seriously give yourself some self-care when seasonal depression is hitting harder than most seasons:
1. Grasp hard onto your passions and desires and do not let go.
I know I said I've lacked desire for my passions lately, and that's true, but try to dig deep into the roots of why you love what you love. Remember why you feel in love with those things in the first place.
2. Reorganize, rearrange, revamp.
Simply put, a lot of times your space has an effect on your moods. Feeling off? Move things around and reorganize anything and everything you can. Pull out those boots and that jacket buried deep in the back of your closet and just embrace it.
3. Give yourself a routine.
Getting out of a slump when you're feeling absolutely off can be one of the hardest things. But finding a new routine or an old routine and trying hard to stick to that can seriously increase your mood or desire for "normal" things again.
4. Literally self-love the sh*t out of yourself.
Buy yourself flowers! Light up a candle! Draw yourself a bubble bath every night! Anything out of the norm (or completely in the norm) to make yourself feel "normal" again will flip you right back on track for feeling that way again.
Alas, you are only in control of what you're feeling and you are only in control of what can be fixed. Fixed being said lightly because that would imply that something is "wrong" with you and that's never the case.
Self-care and self-love can be done at any time of year, but it seems like this year I'm needing it a little stronger than other times, especially when feeling out of sorts. Use this time as much as any to just care for yourself extra, extra, extra.
Oh, but at least we have spring to look forward to if nothing else at all, right?