It’s getting darker, which means that for a lot of people, the seasonal depression is kicking in. Anyone with any vague experience of S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) will know how hard it becomes to look out of the window and feel positive on a dreary winter’s morning. S.A.D can be crippling and really unsettling, and I’ve experienced it for the past 5 years, so I’m well equipped with tools for how to deal with it. So here are my best tips to help get you through the winter months, that doesn’t involve the pricey S.A.D light treatment.
- De-stress your routine. If your morning routine is 7 things long, take a few things out so that your morning to-do list isn’t so daunting. Knowing you only have 3 things to do is a lot easier to digest than waking up and dreading the morning ahead because you know you’ve got loads to get through before you even leave the house. Even if all you end up with is getting out of bed and into clean clothes, that’s still a big deal. But don’t skip breakfast!
- Find a creative outlet. Personally, I feel really calm when I draw, even though a lot of what I draw might not require much technical skill. It feels nice to do the things I did as a kid when I was bored, and when you’re a kid you’re not worried about anything other than what you’re doing in the moment. I’ve learned not to worry about whether what I draw is terrible or not because I’m not making it to look good or be technically brilliant, I’m making it because I want to. So I recommend cracking out the crayons and going to town on some paper. But maybe you feel really calm once you’ve had an impromptu dance party in the kitchen (don’t we all?). If so, put on those slippy socks and some smooth tunes and go for it!
- Don’t go full hermit. It’s easier said than done, but it’s really important to make sure you see the face of someone who cares, even if it’s someone who has to care, like your parents. It doesn’t do much good to stay cooped up inside your head all the time, so go listen to your mum gossip about Sheila at work who ate the last slice of cake and left her dirty coffee cup in the sink.
- Watch the films or read the books that make you feel at home. Again, like cracking open the crayons, it’s the childhood comforts that can make us feel the safest. It’s even better if those films are comedies, I find anyway. Films are often an easier pass-time because they’re usually over in 2 hours, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a commitment.
- B.Y.O.G – Be Your Own Gran. See yourself through the eyes of an overindulgent gran from now till forever, really. Feed yourself till you’re full, then offer yourself some more, notice how well you look and how much you’ve grown, and remind yourself that you’re The Best. Even if it feels saccharine, or disingenuous. You’re not lying to yourself when you tell yourself that you’re not a bad person.
The common theme with all the above is taking time to check in and treat yourself well, even when – especially when – you feel like you don’t deserve it. Here’s your reminder that you do, you do, you do.
Written by Rochelle Asquith