Advice For Those Suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
SAD; Tips for maintaining mental health for those suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Do you ever get that strange and repetitive feeling that as it gets later in the year, the days get shorter, colder and grey, and you feel exactly like the grey weather that you see outside? And at first, you might think, “I feel a bit grey because the weather is grey,” but then that feeling doesn’t go away. Getting up to go to work, the gym or the simplest task feels like the biggest effort, and instead, you wish you could just curl up in a ball with a blanket and lack the motivation to do anything!
If this is you, keep reading for some tips on how to cope this winter!
If this describes you, the good thing is that you are now aware of it, and yes, it is normal and very common for people to feel like this! Being aware of it allows you to prepare yourself mentally, and you know that there is hope because the whole point is that it is seasonal. Remind yourself that it won’t last forever and you WILL be okay, it just takes some adjustment, extra patience and self-love. Easier said than done, I know, but not impossible, and that’s the main thing you need to remember.
Rely on discipline and not motivation!
1. The practice of training to obey…
Similar: control, direction, order, routine, strictness, training, exercise…
As the days get darker and you start to get that sad feeling that you started getting last winter, you can start to prepare yourself by having some serious and very necessary self-talk.
Unfortunately, as humans we can’t just simply hibernate through Winter, so instead of relying on the beautiful warm sunshine that usually motivates us to get up, we must discipline ourselves to get up and make things happen. Relying on the feeling of motivation to get up and go complete your tasks, might just be your downfall in the winter. This is because that feeling might never come, every time you start something you don’t actually feel motivated to carry on till it’s finished and nothing gets done. So in the early days, why don’t you let yourself feel and soak for a day or two while preparing yourself with self-talks and organisation as to what a realistic and doable routine might look like for the following days?
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Because you are aware that winter time can bring you feelings of depression, low moods and lack of motivation, you can prepare a routine that is more realistic to this time of year. Maybe in Summer time, you can wake up super early as the sun rises and go for a workout. You might even be able to get home from work and do some more work as the sun continues shining through the windows, but that’s changed now, so don’t expect yourself to feel motivated to follow the same routine. It’s colder, so automatically, it might be harder to get out of bed. Maybe through winter, you can set your alarm to a later time or move your workout routine for the afternoon/evening. Whatever is realistic and works best for you. Plan lots of Inside activities with those you usually have fun with… It can be harder to find ways to have fun in the winter than in the nice hot sun, but don’t let that discourage you. Planning inside activities with your friends and family ahead of time can be something to look forward to and can bring you out of that low mood, even if it’s just for that day.
If you are enjoying that moment, try not to think about what comes tomorrow or what you must do later. Remind yourself to enjoy the moment you’re in.
Delete social media for a little while if you need to…
It’s important to protect your mental health during these times. Therefore, I would strongly advise limiting your social media use. Social media can worsen depressive moods by making you feel excluded, and it can make you feel worse about your lack of motivation to complete tasks as you watch everyone else go on with their daily lives. It can bring feelings of dissatisfaction as you might compare your life with others, and it could cause you to isolate even more as you might choose to stay scrolling rather than being outside being productive. You don’t need to handle this on your own. Even after attempting all of these strategies, going to depression counselling sessions can really help you uncover alternative coping strategies that work for you and provide an environment of safety where you feel understood and heard.
Browse our website for additional details on the private counsellors in our team who may be able to provide you with counselling support.
By Eva Domingos, a Nottingham counsellor at My Solution Well-being.
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