Ever noticed when the weather changes and things start to get gloomy out, so does your mood? You’re not alone. Seasonal depression is a real thing. In fact, it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. And it is.
Shorter days, less sunshine, clouds, rain, snow. Welcome to winter. Seasonal depression is triggered by the change in seasons and primarily shows up in the winter seasons. And boy have I been feeling it. Hard. Just like the temperatures, my motivation to workout has been in the negatives. I have also had zero desire to be social. Making plans and canceling them. Yeah, I’ve become THAT person that you can count on to flake just like the snow outside. I’ve also noticed that I cry much easier, and little things that I’d normally brush off seem like the biggest deal in the world.
I also live in the desert for a reason. I’m a sun-worshipper. I want to be outside getting as many sun-spots on my face as I can. (I have to joke about that so I don’t cry myself to sleep – the sun damage is real) In the summer months, my smallest dog, Roz, will literally lay in the sun for hours just basking in it. She’s my spirit animal. So when the weather gets cold and I can’t worship the sun anymore, it really takes a toll on my overall psyche, resulting in seasonal depression.
Of course, it doesn’t help that we also recently lost our drone (Shadow), and only a few short days later I fell for a very elaborate scam where I Western Union’d a stranger cash. (Facepalm).
I’d just like to take a brief moment of silence for all the lost drones in this world. You are missed dearly.
Mix all the drone drama with the fact that I’ve had a lot of ups and downs stemming from my blog in general and an overall “What am I doing with my life?” mentality. We have all felt that “Can I just get a break?” feeling. The reality is that none of us are void of tragedies, unfortunate and unexpected circumstances, or stresses in our lives. Ever feel like these things seem to happen at the worst times? The reality is that there is never a GOOD time for BAD things to happen.
We get so used to people telling us things like, “Just focus on the positive!”, “You have so much to be grateful for!”, “Learn to dance in the rain!”, “Live Laugh Love!” and whatever other cliche saying you have plastered on your wall somewhere. Yes, I understand that no matter how bad we think we have it, someone else out there wishes they had it as good as us. I get it. The problem is that these sayings downplay how you are feeling when you’re down. It leads you to believe that your feelings are invalid. Depression is real my friends. Telling someone to focus on the positive is not going to solve anything.
Thanks Karen! Since you told me how blessed I am, I feel like a million bucks! Why didn’t I think of that?
Seasonal depression is also real. It’s also perfectly okay to have a bad day. It’s when you start thinking you have an overall bad LIFE that it becomes a problem. Staying in a negative place and negative mindset does what? Breeds more negativity and literally draws MORE negativity into your life.
Listen, I’m not here to tell you to buy a lightbox, get on medication, or anything else the internet will tell you to do when it comes to seasonal depression.
I do know that getting outside, even when it’s cold, can make a huge difference. I notice the colder it gets the more I stay indoors which means I get zero vitamin D and fresh air. That in itself is depressing.
Taking Vitamin D is also very beneficial. I just recently started taking Sundown Naturals and I’m already seeing an improvement in my mood and overall well being. It’s natural, so you really have nothing to lose by trying to incorporate more Vitamin D into your diet.
I’m also here to tell you if you’re not experiencing seasonal depression yourself, you know someone who is. Even if you don’t realize it.
If you have a friend/family/coworker that has been off their game, flakey at making plans and/or keeping them, acting sad, depressed or down, don’t judge them. Love them. Check-in on them. I don’t care if they cancel 10 plans you made in a row. Text them. Don’t give up on them. Because that sun is coming (eventually) and we will all be outside basking in the warmth at the lake in a few (short?) months.
And if you’re in a downward spiral right now, the first step is to accept it, the next step is to put energy into changing it. What’s going on in your life that’s making you feel down? How much ENERGY are you putting into it? How often to do you talk about and TELL people about those problems?
I did this training once where we told one person something tragic that happened to us where we felt like we were the victim. We then went to the next person and repeated our story. And the next, and the next. After 3-4 times you realize this is what you have been doing in real life. Repeating your victim story over and over and over. Not only is it ridiculous, but it’s also a total waste of energy and life.
The sun will come out tomorrowwwwww ?
The good news is that just like most things in life, winter AND your problems are only temporary. Winter is a season of recovery and preparation. It’s also a great time to let your creative flag fly. More time indoors means more writing, crocheting, painting, drawing, anything you enjoy that brings out the most creative you. You don’t have to be a novelist or an artist to do this.
One thing I really enjoy is adult coloring books. They are so incredibly therapeutic and relaxing. If you haven’t tried one, I recommend getting one! This adult coloring book is one of my favorites because it’s also wildly inappropriate, which is pretty fitting for my personality. (That’s also a disclaimer before you click the link if you’re sensitive to “bad words”)
You can check it out the wildly inappropriate adult coloring book I’m referencing, here.
So for now, cuddle up, put a fake-it-till-you-make-it smile on your face, and picture that long-awaited lake day that’s in your near future. It’ll be here before you know it.