If you struggle with seasonal depression, you are not alone. Universally, 2020 was an extremely challenging year that tested our mental, emotional, and physical health. With that alone, it is common for anyone to feel more anxious, stressed, and depressed. And with the COVID restrictions placed around the world, we’re bound to feel lonelier and sadder. Seasonal depression is extremely common, this year, years past and years ahead. The first step is to recognize your feelings. Instead of internalizing any negative thoughts or feelings, build the courage to talk about it with a professional counselor/therapist, partner, trusted family member, or friend. Once we build the courage to speak up about it, a door will open with a guiding light. Combating seasonal depression takes time and practice, but it is up to us to find the strength to fight against it and seek the help we need.

Tips that help me combat seasonal depression:

  • Talking with my therapist to learn and apply best practices to help me rise above seasonal depression – and talking with friends and family for additional comfort and support.
  • Writing lists consisting of things to do, places to go, and goals that I wish to accomplish.
  • Incorporating practices of mindfulness and gratitude through meditation, taking walks, journaling, and crafts.
  • Healthy eating habits and exercising are especially conducive during the winter months. We may feel less motivated but incorporating a healthy lifestyle will allow us to feel good from within.

The most important takeaway with combating seasonal depression is to integrate positive distractions. This method is key, and I find it extremely helpful, even after the winter season ends. Try to integrate positive distractions within your day and see if you feel a difference within your mental and emotional health. If you’re feeling stuck, the tips that I have listed above count as positive distractions! See what works best for you or create some of your own.

As we begin the chapter of the new year, we should take a moment to look back and reflect on how far we’ve come on our journeys. Remember to incorporate self-care and ways to decompress and commend yourself for your strength and resilience for making it through a challenging year. Give your body and mind time to decompress so that you will feel energized and refreshed.

This blog post can be found on The Journey Is Here.