Give yourself something to look forward to. Make a goal, start a plan. I have discovered when I don’t have something to look forward to or plan for, I get lethargic and blah. Having something to plan toward, or a project to work on, makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. Get out those travel brochures, or start researching a cruise online. Make a list of places you want to go see, mark off some dates on your calendar, and watch your energy return!
It doesn’t even have to be a full-blown vacation! Just plan a day away on your weekend. Going somewhere else for the day gives you a fresh perspective on things. New surroundings will give you more energy, and spark new creativity. Find out what the next town over has to offer. Or go explore an area of your own hometown that you haven’t discovered yet.
One of the best ways to leave your bad feelings behind is to help someone else. When we are helping others, we tend to forget our own negative feelings. The experience of helping someone else makes us feel good about ourselves, and that pushes aside the feelings of depression. It becomes a cycle: when you do good = you feel good, and when you feel good = you do good.
There are lots of organizations that could use your help, and your special talents and gifts. Here some ideas to get you started:
· Food bank
· Humane society or animal shelter
· National Parks
· Habitat for Humanity
· Art museums
· Local library
· YMCA or Youth outreach
· Retirement homes
· Red Cross
Fresh air and sunshine are great mood boosters. Now, you will have to gauge the weather in your part of the world, and choose when you will be able to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. I am not advocating that you get outside in the snow and rain and get sick. Use your common sense, and be safe. But if the weather permits, get out there and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Sunshine increases your serotonin and noradrenaline levels, and these chemicals make us happy.
There’s another factor involved in sunlight’s effect on mood, though: Vitamin D. The body creates its supply of Vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays hitting the skin, and high levels of the vitamin help the body maintain high levels of serotonin. Because of the importance of Vitamin D, you may want to think about adding a supplement to your daily diet if you’re unable to get out in the sun as often as you would like.
Seasonal depression doesn’t have to ruin your winter months. Just being aware of what is making you depressed and blue is a huge step toward changing your outlook.
What things have you found that has worked for you when suffering from seasonal depression? Share them in the comments below. Thanks!
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