3 Tips to Help You BEFORE Seasonal Depression Begins

Ciao lovelies. As some of you may know from my previous posts, myself and some of my loved ones have issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder- also called “Seasonal Depression.” This is an issue that causes changes in mood and behavior around the seasons of Fall-Winter usually, but for some, can happen with other seasons. The Fall/Winter Seasonal Depression is simply more common, and that is what I want to talk about today. For many, Seasonal Depression means that around the seasons of Fall and Winter, they begin to feel symptoms of, and end up in, a depressive episode. For some like myself with Major Depressive Disorder, this means a worsening of pre-existing symptoms. Today I want to talk about how you can prepare in advance to ease some of the burden of these symptoms off of your future self. In essence, today we are talking about how to prepare in advance to help ease Seasonal Depression.

DISCLAIMER- I am NOT a mental health professional, so any advice that I give is merely from personal experience and may not work for everyone. Do not self-diagnose, if you feel that you may have symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder please see a professional. OFT is not an emergency hotline of ANY kind, if you are having frequent thoughts of self-harm or suicide please contact a mental health professional. If you are in crisis please contact your local emergency services.

Many people who experience Seasonal Depression will experience some or all of the following:
-          Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
-          Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
-          Having low energy
-          Having problems with sleeping
-          Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
-          Feeling sluggish or agitated
-          Having difficulty concentrating
-          Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty

How can you prepare in advance to deal with the symptoms of Seasonal Depression? I am here to tell you some steps you can take during Summer and early Fall to help prepare you for Seasonal Depression and make it a little easier on yourself.

TIP #1- Prepare a Schedule. Having some structure in one’s life can help to ease feelings of worthlessness in some people. It especially helps me. I know that if I have too much free time doing nothing, I end up dwelling on negative emotions and thoughts and nothing good seems to come of it. So to prepare for my Seasonal Depression episodes, I prepare a schedule in advance that I can stick to.

TIP #2- Begin a Positivity Journal, and Make it a Habit to Write in It. This will take some definite advance thinking. I usually have to write in a journal for about a month until I can do it daily without thinking. So, sit down about a month or two before you know your Seasonal Depression usually hits, pick out a nice journal, and begin. I like to put all sorts of things into Positivity journals, including: things I’m grateful for, things I have achieved and am proud of, phone numbers of loved ones who I can talk to, pictures of beautiful places that I’d like to go, sometimes I even add essential oils that I like to the pages. Treat this like a scrapbook of good vibes only.  (PS- if you’d like to see a whole post or video on this topic, comment below!)

TIP #3- Begin a Regimen of Vitamin D and B12 (IF APPROVED BY A DOCTOR.). Please see your doctor to discuss this before you do it. Only your doctor can know if this is right for you.  This did work for me after discussing it with my primary care doctor. She said it was fine if I wanted to take Vitamins D and B12. The reasons why these worked for me was because a lot of my Seasonal Depression had roots in lack of sunlight and energy. The sun works with your body to produce Vitamin D. This can affect mood if you don’t have enough. Vitamin B12 is mostly good for increasing your energy levels.

What do you think of these tips? If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, what do you do to try to prevent the difficulties that come with it? Let us know in the comments!
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Thanks again for reading, stay awesome, remember to love yourself, and I’ll see you in our next post!