I was diagnosed with depression at the young age of 13. Winter is the hardest part of the year for me due to having Seasonal Affective Disorder as well. Here are 6 ways that I personally manage my depression during the winter months.
1. Remain active.
As the seasons change it can be hard to get outside and exercise. Maintaining an active lifestyle will help manage your depression though. Ways that I remain active during winter is, believe it or not, playing video games. The video games I choose to play keep me active. My personal favorites are the Just Dance games for the Wii U.
2. Don’t be alone.
Being alone all the time can worsen your depression. Winter can be a busy time for many people and many people also tend to save their money for Holiday shopping thus not being able to spend money on social outings. A cheap way that I get friends together is by hosting a movie night. It can be an old classic or a new movie that’s available to rent. Whichever you choose is a lot cheaper than going out to the theater. I also find it to be nicer as you can talk before, during, and after the movie. Sometimes I ask each person to bring a snack of some sort. If everyone helps out with the food it becomes very cost effective.
3. Keep yourself busy with winter fun.
If you have depression it’s easy to slip into a mood where you just don’t feel like doing anything. Keep yourself busy during the winter months with things you can only do in the winter! I like going to the snow and visiting neighborhoods that have light displays. Find out what is available in your local community and visit the things you know is only available this time of the year. This will also help your mood the rest of the year because these things will make you look forward to the winter months.
4. Stay in the light.
The sun doesn’t like to stay out much if at all during the winter months. It’s best to get out in the sun as much as you can during the winter months but if you can’t there are alternatives. Light therapy is one popular method and may consist of using a light box for about 30 minutes every day. I like going to places that have bright lights. One particular place that I find to have bright lights are indoor shopping malls. It feels nice to be able to walk around where it is bright and not dark.
5. Eat healthy.
It’s easy to over indulge during these months. Thanksgiving food and Holiday treats can be overwhelming. Keep a healthy balance so you don’t accidentally overeat and gain weight thus causing more depression. I like to bake treats but I make sure to give most of the treats I make away. It’s fun to make them plus it makes me happy to give things to others. To maintain a healthy balance I eat treats around mid day so I can work off what I ate during the rest of the day. Don’t eat any treats right before bed.
6. Write in a journal.
I like writing in a journal right after I wake up and right before I go to bed. It’s a great time to go over my day and see what I can do differently the next day. You can analyze your days and see what made you happy and what made you sad. It can be very therapeutic. During the winter months write down the things you are looking forward to. Write about how you get ready for the winter events you enjoy attending. I also like to include photographs of things I do as well so I can look back and see how much fun I have during these months.