When the Seasons Change

Depression has many causes.  During the winter months when days are shorter and the weather is typically dark, cold, and wet, many people experience decreases in their mood.  In fact, there was once a diagnosable mental health condition in the manual that psychiatrists and psychologists use devoted to this phenomenon.  Fortunately, there are some strategies that people have used successfully to help increase their mood so that it doesn’t have to be as dependent on the season. 

The first step typically involves building on awareness.  When you reflect on the past few years have you noticed a pattern that your mood changes as autumn and winter commence?  How do you feel on a rainy day compared to a sunny day?  Understanding that your mood may be due to changes in the season or weather can be powerful because knowing how you feel is due to something external can help stop the negative feelings and thoughts that may ensue.  And so, instead of letting the depression take over, you can be prepWhy don't I feel Happy?ared for it when the season changes and start implementing those strategies that already work for you (i.e., talking to your supports, deep breathing, taking breaks for self care). 

Changing self-talk is another strategy that many people find helpful.Telling yourself, “Stop! I feel this way because it’s gloomy outside” and other coping thoughts can help stop the vicious negative thought cycle that is common when depression takes over.  As well, research tells us that diet and exercise can be as—or more—effective than taking medication.  Lastly, when we’re blessed with the nourishing rays of the sun, take advantage and get your fill of Vitamin D.

If you want to know more about the above mentioned strategies talk to your doctor or leave a reply below.

Wishing you all good mental health.

–Rosemary

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