Get shit done. Over the last few weeks I’ve felt a self-imposed pressure to finish big projects, meet deadlines, get organized. I know I won’t feel up to big stuff when just basic life skills seem overwhelming, so I want to get ahead wherever I can be.
Access as many resources as possible. I made an appointment with my nurse practitioner & I will totally see about any free counselling or etc. I feel so lucky to be in a place where I can access some good, free healthcare. If you have this access too, I hope you use it to the extent that it helps you.
Move my body around. I’m serious about keeping up with the jogging, & when it gets too cold or snowy for that I will think about a gym membership, if I can hack it. But even a long walk or a laptop dance party will do the trick.
Get some damn sun. Going outside in the daytime – gonna try it.
Stay warm. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel like my SAD is equally affected by heat as well as light. I love a good cuddly extra-layered outfit but I also need to remember to wear slippers at home, drink more tea, take baths, use a hot pad, whatever. When I get too cold the first thing that happens is that I get mean, and then I get super unproductive. No thanks. I resolved to turn the heat up enough in the house that I can be a functional adult, even if it ends up being more expensive.
Be aware of the sugar & carbs diet. Carbohydrate cravings are a real symptom of seasonal depression & I am not gonna tell you that I will stop eating them, but I know I feel good in a more stable way when I drink a lot of water & eat a lot of vegetables.
Be aware of the beer/caffeine cycle. In the summer, if I drink a lot, I get a hangover. In the winter, if I drink a lot, I feel despondent & I panic. Same thing happens with too much coffee. I’m stocking up on herbal tea, okay?
Read a lot – but not only sad books. Every winter I end up on a Margaret Atwood binge & then I end up with no hope left for the world. Reading is the best & I love learning stuff but too many depressing stories in a row is – wait for it – depressing. Sometimes I like to read self help books & take a lot of notes – generally a “take what you like discard the rest philosophy works best.
Make things. When I feel crappy it’s easy to passively consume media & sleep a lot but I feel way better when I actually Do Stuff. Making things gives my brain something to focus on & is a visible marker of productivity. Doing a creative thing just feels better.
Cute animals. Cute animal videos.
Call my parents. They, like, believe in me. & they like to visit. & they are nice.
Talk about shit. The best thing I ever did for managing my depression was to be open enough about it that I was able to connect with people who are going through the same things. Sometimes being able to name what is happening & know you are not alone is so fantastically helpful. I have slowly stopped seeking close friendships with people who refuse to get it about mental health stuff. Being able to trust the people around you is such an amazing thing.
Experiment. The other day I had the thought – what if, instead of buying lipstick and beer when I want to spoil myself, I bought plants?