“I got that holiday, holiday, sadness. Ho-ho-ho holiday, holiday sadness“— not exactly what Lana Del Rey said
It’s a short one today, let’s just say seasonal depression has met pandemic and the usual depression and have been collectively whooping me. It has been hard to wake up for work and to keep energy and focus. I started withdrawing from activities that I know bring me joy. I just didn’t want to think or exist. While I was baking chocolate chip pumpkin cookies to “calm my nerves” I realized that baking is something I do to help myself feel better. It made me think about all the other things I can do to improve my mood. And that is what inspired my post for you today.
I don’t remember exactly when or why but the holiday season often makes me feel this longing type of sadness. It is time that is meant to be around family and those you love. The feeling of unity. But those are not feelings too familiar to me.
It’s that seasonal depression. I know I am not alone on this. So, what do you do when you’re just trying to live and memories cloud your mind – on TOP of Covid, upcoming election, and the state of the world in general? This holiday season is a rough one. This month I have fallen a bit deeper into my depressions struggling to come out. It was finally the time for me to sit down and come up with my safety plan of how to get out of the downwards spiral.
What is seasonal depression?
You know when you notice the days becoming shorter and that chill is in the air? It sometimes feels as if as each day gets shorter the more depressed I start to feel. It’s a type of depression that is related to season changes. No matter how many times I experience it, each year just hits different that the last.
Surviving holiday sadness
Here are some ways to prepare yourself for :
- Get physical, try it every day, even if it is dancing to your favorite songs in front of the mirror. Get your heart pumping and body moving.
- Drink enough water + eat well. Eating healthy and well and feeling good physically contributes to how well you feel mentally.
- Bake, doing things with your hands helps you feel grounded in your body which can help with anxiety.
- Care for yourself spiritually. Show up for yourself even during days you don’t feel like it.
- Know your triggers, understanding the “why” is important along your healing journey and caring for yourself during this season. Learning why you are experiencing certain emotions can help you feel more in control and can offer some type of relief.
- Plants, bring the nature within they are always nice to have around the house. Not only are you providing yourself with fresher air, but caring for plants is a rewarding and peaceful experience.
- Reach out to people who help you feel like yourself and stay connected with them.
- Try out some vitamin D supplements. Hear me out, I recently learned that vitamin D regulates serotonin. I will be trying some out this holiday season. In fact, there are many ways besides the sun light and supplements to increase your vitamin D levels.
- Therapy can help you create more “tools” for your “tool box” this season. It is also a space where you express yourself, mostly uncensored, and create a plan of action to help with your mental health.
Healing does not have to mean “beating” your mental illness. Healing can also mean that you are gathering the tools needed to heal, take care of your mental health, and live your best life. Though, seasonal depression may come year after year – take the time to understand yourself and help yourself grow.