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Dark storm clouds dissipate, revealing a bright sun.

Needing a Little Sunshine

I have personally felt a bit down since putting away the Christmas decorations and going into this new year. New year, new beginnings and what also seemed like the longest month ever in the history of time.

I thought maybe it was just post-holiday blues, but it has seemed linger. Our weather has been unseasonably colder than usual and very gray. Once I figured out that this must be seasonal depression, I started trying to find remedies to pull myself up.

Using light therapy has been beneficial

I received a light therapy lamp as a gift and started researching the positive effects of a “sun lamp” and realized that this might really be something that could help me. I must say that at first I thought it was another gimmick and not anything that had any real barring on helping my emotions.

I kept reading about it and hearing success stories of how this little light has helped people. There wasn’t anything left to do but plug it up. I must say that it has definitely helped over time.

I used the light when I was doing desk work and also would turn it on while doing my morning reading with coffee. It really does seem to work even though I was initially a skeptic. I wasn’t sure how this light could work any different from a lamp in my home.

However, these lights are designed to simulate sunlight while also triggering the melatonin in the body which can improve mood raise energy levels. Somehow it really does work.

Maintaining a routine helps

When it is raining, cold and drab, I find myself just wanting to cozy up in the bed or on the sofa for the day without any real agenda. I am embarrassed to say that I often don’t even get dressed on those days and if I don’t have to leave home, I usually won’t.

This has been something that I have been intentionally trying not to do for the betterment of my emotional well-being. I have found that even the simplest tasks like getting dressed can often be an instant mood booster for me.

I try to maintain my usual schedule even when I don’t feel like it. I make effort to at least get dressed.

Sometimes we just need the rest and a rainy and cold day is the perfect day to do so. My goal is to simply maintain a routine—doing so has really helped me to combat those days of depression.

Intentional social connection is healing

Connection with others has also been a very effective strategy for overcoming the emotional stress of seasonal depression. I have intentionally joined groups within my community just to meet new people and have that face-to-face interaction with other.

It really has been a great tool to help me move forward. Our weekly meetings give me something to look forward to, make me get dressed and out of the house for a couple of hours in the evenings.

Finding a social connection through our communities or churches or civil organizations give us a sense of belonging that can be very beneficial to our over all well being.

Brighter days are ahead

Overcoming seasonal depression can seem overwhelming and it often is. It is perfectly fine to try small intentional tasks and changes at first to help you, but it’s also perfectly fine to seek a mental health professional as well to explore other options to assist you.

There are many resources available to assist. Finding a combination of support, self-care, and possible treatment options like light therapy or exercise will certainly help us to bridge those gray and drab winter days to warmer and brighter days ahead.

 

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