Updated: Nov 5, 2019
As many of you may know, many college campuses around Michigan are giving students time off for an official fall break. Universities are realizing that this time of year many students are exhausted, and more importantly their mental state is being affected by things other than school obligations.
Fall is a time of change, which in many cases can be good. Although many love the change of seasons, some individuals struggling with depression may be affected by the seasonal shift ( I have honestly dealt with depression unfortunately).
Whether you are a minor, college student, or an adult, just know that you aren't alone, and there are ways to deal with your seasonal depression (or any depression really). Here are my top ways to deal with seasonal depression NATURALLY, and how they may improve your symptoms.
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NOTE: If you are suicidal please reach for help. Reach out to a friend, councilor, or this hotline
I know this isn't everyone's first choice, but from personal experience this has greatly improved my depression. Working out increases endorphins in your body, which overall will help trigger a positive feeling in your body. If you can, I recommend joining group classes where you can interact with others. This can be as simple as taking a yoga class. Do whatever works for you, and GET TO MOVING GIRLFRIEND.
2) Open your curtains
Even if it isn't super sunny out, any light let in will help. Being in consistent darkness will not add to your happiness, and in fact might hinder it.
3) Add some plants
Adding plants to your personal space will add some life. I have always found that adding plants has helped brighten an area, and overall makes a space happier (in my opinion).
4) Pick up a hobby
My friend and I actually talked about this, and when she was experiencing seasonal depression she started coloring in an adult coloring book. She said that this was not only fun, but was a way to help her feel happier.
5) Try a lightbox
These lightboxes are great for when there isn't much sunlight available. Many people's moods are affected by not being able to get much sun, which is where this light can step in.
6) Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can help ease tension, and overall can improve happiness on the gloomy days. Many aromatherapy scents are known to help individuals, and can bring a sense of calmness to a room. My personal favorite is lavender!
Meditation is known for its calming attributes. Try introducing this into your routine!
8) Try to have a set schedule
Having a set schedule can ease your mind when it comes to not only stress but depression as well. I found that when my schedule was all over the place it put me in a panic which added to my anxiety and depression. Try to have a set schedule as much as you can.
9) Hug a body pillow
Honestly this is going to sound ridiculous, but I know that when I've experienced depression and anxiety in my chest I would always hug a body pillow which oddly enough lessened the pain in my chest. Just try and put yourself in a good mindset when the anxiety/sadness hits. I know that this sounds easier said than done, but just try to hush the thoughts,focus on breathing, hug a body pillow and put on a relaxing show.
10) Get some fresh air
If you can, take a weekend stroll. I believe being inside all day isn't good for your mental well being. Humans need stimulation in their life to be happy. Taking your dog for a walk can help stimulate you AND will make your dog happy. If you don't like aimlessly walking maybe set an end goal destination. You may be more enticed to walk if you know you're walking to a yummy coffee shop. Either way I have always found going for walks/ getting fresh air beneficial.
I believe it is so important to try and work on fixing your depression and anxiety NATURALLY. I know that this isn't possible for everyone, but I would suggest doing it naturally first. I have known many people who have tried depression medications to only have their anxiety/depression worsen and experience symptoms such as weight gain (which then added to their already existent depression and anxiety). I am not a doctor, so I suggest putting as much research and thought into depression in relations to how you are feeling and pick the best possible options for your personal situation. No one is the same, but we all deserve a happy mind, heart, and soul!