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.
What causes Sad?
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 colder seasons, such as fall and winter.
…And boy have I been feeling it. Hard.
How it’s AFFECTED me this year
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.
Cold, plus a series of unfortunate events
Of course, it doesn’t help that I also recently lost my drone (Shadow), and only a few short days later I fell for a very elaborate scam where I Western Union’d a stranger cash.
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. I know, I know, playing the victim. Not a good look.
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.
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 with telling people that suffer from any form of depression to “just focus on what you have to be grateful for” or “learn to dance in the rain” (or any other cliche saying) is that these sayings downplay how they are feeling when they’re down. It leads them to believe that their feelings are invalid.
Depression is real my friends. Telling someone to focus on the positive can sometimes actually come across as offensive to those that are suffering.
Thanks Karen! Since you told me how blessed I am, I feel like a million bucks! Why didn’t I think of that?
Bad day, not a bad life
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.
Countering the effects of SAD
There are options to counter the effects of Seasonal Depression. Because you’re missing a lot of sun and vitamin D, you can mock this by buying a UV-Free LED Sun Lamp.
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.
If you aren’t experiencing it, someone you know probably is.
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.
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.
Put energy into changing it
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.