Updated: Jan 24, 2018
Every year like clockwork like 4-6% of the population, I️ suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
🍂As soon the the leafs stop looking pretty, and the darkness has set in, that is when I️ find days hard to get out of bed. Hard to find the strength or energy to get everyday simple tasks done. Hard to communicate with the ones I️ love. My emotions run high, I️ can turn into an overflowing faucet at the blink of an eye.
7 years ago, I lived in Australia chasing almost a year and a half of full summer sunshine, and since then, every winter seems like a long never ending punishment.
I️ am now fully aware of what happens to me during this time, but I️ always have a hard time catching it before it rules my life. So this year, I️ am going to take charge of my life and ensure I️ take the proper steps to stay healthy, happy and clear-headed.
If you suffer from SAD too, or need an extra reminder on learning to take care of yourself during these dark and cold days, try and follow these tips I will be trying to follow on keeping control of your dark days.
☀️wake up, take the time to reflect on your feelings and your current state of mind
☕️take a moment, half hour, hour, however long you need to enjoy something for yourself. Whether it’s coffee, tea, a smoothie. No distractions - 📱💻
🏃🏻stretch and exercise - this is a huge one for me as it usually is the first I forget about and usually the best thing I️ need to feel more healthy, alive and like myself.
🍏🍓eat healthy - it is so easy to fall into a bad routine of eating take out, munching on junk food in front of the TV, or constantly running the to fridge or cupboard to keep your mind occupied. Sometimes it takes all of my energy to think of something healthy and delicious to make for dinner and ordering pizza or sushi always sounds like a better idea. The first thing to remember in this is if you do have a day or a week when you choose to have pizza for dinner, who cares. Don’t punish yourself if it is what you need. Be mindful of why you are making this decision When I️ mindfully am aware of how bad my diet is, I️ slowly realize the domino affect it has on my entire mood, and my entire body. Eating the right kinds of foods in the winter gives you more energy and helps you keep alert and feel more like yourself.
📌set just one realistic goal that you can accomplish and feel good about. - this time of year I️ tend to bombard myself with tasks and punish myself for not being productive or not working hard enough. But if I️ set just one realistic goal, and complete it, I️ feel so much better about myself than carrying the guilt of letting myself down if I️ haven’t completed the 200+ other tasks I️ had to do.
💑👩❤️👩👨❤️👨open up to your loved ones - sometimes the world feels so consuming and suffocating as you may feel alone or worthless, but whenever I️ speak with a loved one, be it my partner, my friends, or my family, I️ instantly feel a sense of relief because I️ have gotten something off my chest, or they can relate to me as well and I️ feel human again.
✍🏻take time to do the things you love - when the winter comes I️ sometimes forget about the simple things I️ love to do that makes me happy. Just because we are allotted more time indoors because of the weather and the darkness, it does not mean that hobbies and interests are stopped too. One of the things that brings me joy is writing, and for a few years I lost my urge to write. I️ am happy that I️ am at a better place where I️ now turn back to writing and find it as healing and expressive as I️ used to.
🎶listen to music - music is truly food for the soul. It always lets me feel my emotions or puts me in a better mood.
🌸the number one tip - be kind to yourself. If you cannot accomplish these things each day, be nice and patient with yourself. If you happen to have a day or a week when you choose to have pizza for dinner, who cares. Don’t punish yourself if it is what you need. Be mindful of why you are making this decision, forgive yourself and be your biggest fan by cheering yourself on.