Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that can affect you during certain times of the year. Despite the stigma that some people feel when they experience symptoms of depression, it is not unusual–or totally inevitable–to feel down when you haven’t seen the sun for days. While feeling down during cloudy days may be a common occurrence for many people, there are ways you can keep your mood up during these times. It’s important to remember that much like the weather, our moods can and will change. It’s also important to remember that unlike the weather, there are things we can do to help shift our moods for the better.

Ways to improve your mood during dark seasons:

Lean into self-care practices.

Give yourself some extra love during times of year that are known for being depressing, such as the darkest depths of winter. Do whatever it is that makes you light up inside, when you’re missing the light of the sun. This might include spending extra time with your friends and family, watching funny TV shows or movies, reading light-hearted novels, playing games, taking long, hot baths, or lighting special candles that smell amazing.

Connect with your support networks.

Let your loved ones know when you’re going through a hard time so that they can be there for you when you need them most. Chances are, your friends and family want to help you in any way that they can. Let them in. Don’t hide yourself away because you aren’t feeling well. Instead, open up to your loved ones so that they can help cheer you up.

Get more sleep.

It’s hard to feel good all day when you didn’t sleep well the night before. Sticking to a sleep schedule, by going to bed at the same time each night, helps you get the sleep you need. Limit your caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. These things can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Find calm activities to do before bedtime, or take a warm bath, instead of scrolling through your phone or watching the news.

Listen to some of your favorite songs.

No matter what genre of music you enjoy, have fun, and take the time to listen. Dance to your favorite danceable beats. Sing your favorite songs out loud. Relax with classical music or jazz. Music can reframe your thoughts and feelings when anxiety and worry creep in. It can also take your mind back to a time you remember more fondly. Listen to the songs you loved in high school or elementary school if those were times that you enjoy reminiscing about.

Move your body.

Practicing gentle movement can help you improve your mood. This can include yoga, tai chi, walking, or even just simple housekeeping chores. Anything you can do to move stagnant energy will help.

Chenal Family Therapy can help with mood issues. Call us today to learn more about our services.