Depression season is upon us, and mental health is so important.
After the holidays, the coming winter months are often described as the most depressing months of the year. If you get caught in the rut, sometimes it seems extremely hard to dig yourself out. Stay strong friends, there are ways to build yourself up and bring some light back into your life. Seasonal depression may be temporary, but mental health is important nonetheless, and if you feel like your depression is deeper than temporary, please seek out help.
Now this doesn't mean spend a bunch of money on an extravagant winter getaway, simply, get out of your surroundings and explore. Take a small road trip to a near by city, national park, lake, or event and immerse yourself into a different environment for the day. Bring friends or ride solo, simply changing your location can spark your mood and appreciate the world around you. Go with the intention to stay for the day; bring a book, your laptop, a camera, hiking boots, etc. and enjoy the journey.
Painting, drawing, photography, writing, knitting...! Having a creative outlet, a way to relax and stimulate your brain is an excellent way to get your mind off the seasonal blues. Take up that old hobby you had when you were younger and start fresh. Even if you believe you are the most un artistic person in the world, trying something new may surprise you. There's even full size paint-by-numbers canvases you can buy, or adult coloring books. Find something that interests you and don't hold back.
Self-care is very subjective. Every person has their own aspects of life that are important to their self-care, try branching out and mixing it up, adding a new activity that benefits your body and mind. Do you like to work out? Try yoga. Are you usually a book worm? Try a puzzle or mind games. Obsessed with makeup? Get a manicure or pedicure. Love the outdoors? Try rock climbing with friends.
If you didn't know, when you listen to music, every part of the brain is stimulated. Music can be a solace to many people, and comfort in hard times. January depression is no exception. Make a new Spotify playlist, find a new band or artist you enjoy and try to go to a concert. Live music seems like a whole new reality, and the good vibes at many concerts can help the depression blues melt away.
Don't let cabin fever overtake you, put on your coat and boots and go outside. Take your dog for a walk, go to a park and read, or grab some friends and go ice skating. The fresh air will immediately lighten your mood, and though the cold may seem intimidating, you'll be glad you didn't spend all day on the couch.