Relief for the darkest days - seasonal depression helpDec 12, 2021
Do the short days and long nights get to you this time of year? I get it. As someone who has had seasonal depression, I take extra measures to take care of my mental health - especially as we approach the darkest day of the year 12/21/21.
I've noticed I'm more anxious this year because I'm worried my seasonal depression will be worse because it really is darker for me living in Portland - the days are short and often gray. The good news is, it's NOT worse because I'm very proactive about doing what I need to do to feel good.
I've curated a list for you, things I personally LOVE that help.
I'm not affiliated with any of these products or companies. I genuinely love them and feel like they make a difference for me.
- Full-spectrum lightbulbs. I don't have a space to accommodate one of the lights so I just make sure the BULBS in my lamps are happy light. Here is my favorite - Blues Buster Full Spectrum 60 W. Here's an Amazon link to get yours. Expensive? Yes. And worth every penny. Information here.
- Keep your feet warm. Cold feet will cause every muscle in your body to tense up. I try to avoid animal products so I love Bomba's cruelty-free line.
- Warm drinks make you feel good. I drink a cup of coffee every morning and then I switch to tea. My FAVORITE teas are all made by Yogi tea. My favorites are Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy or Blueberry Slim Life Green Tea in the morning and Soothing Caramel Bedtime in the evening.
- Spend time with people. I'm in a new city. I'm still in touch (OFTEN!) with my friends in Boise but I need ways to get to know people in Portland. I found The Hygge Game and I'm in love!! It's not really a game in the way you might think, but you'll find yourself laughing. I've used it with close friends over Thanksgiving and with new friends. It's a win in any case!! It's my new favorite. You can find it at Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Amazon, or anywhere else games are sold.
- Drink bubbles. I love something bubbly that tastes good especially poured into a fancy glass! I have two favorites. La Croix Limoncello (with a maraschino cherry or two) and Poppi Orange. Sparkling water is a win in my book but when you add prebiotics for gut health with Poppi - double win! It comes in a lot of flavors. My daughter likes Doc Pop. I like everything I've tried but keep coming back to orange.
- Check out Hygge groups. Hygge is the Danish word for cozy. I've found so many great things in my Facebook groups. You'll meet other people committed to coziness - and who are also staving off the seasonal depression. Just be careful to choose a solution-based group.
- Stay Warm. This one is here twice because it's SO important. Layer up. Cold leads to muscle tension which leads to emotional tension. Pay special attention to your feet and your neck. And add an extra layer. Not sure what to add? I'm a fan of Cuddle Duds.
- Eat the rainbow. Eat all different colors of fruits and veggies to make sure you are getting adequate nutrition. This time of year is great for root veggies. I like to bake 2 beets and 2 sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F for about an hour. Skin the beet after baking (it's so much easier for me to skin it after) then chop the sweet potatoes and beets. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil and return to the oven to roast for about 15 minutes to get caramelized edges. Serve on a bed of spinach and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios for an out-of-this-world plant-based comfort meal.
- Turn on the lights and light the candles. Cozy = comfort in my book. Make a ritual out of turning on the lamps and lights as it gets dark to keep your space looking cozy.
- Move your body. You know this already but exercise releases feel-good chemicals that help. Take a walk. Do some yoga. Here's my favorite yoga resource. Dance it out! Here's one of my favorites - Oula Fitness. Oula (from Missoula) is body-positive dance fitness where I have met some of my dearest friends. I still dance with them online. Here is a link. You can dance with me!!!
- Pump up the jams. Music helps!! Be sure to choose happy-sounding music. My new favorite playlist? Jonas Brothers Radio on Spotify. For the holidays I'm listening to Pentatonix Holiday Radio on Pandora.
I hope you find something on this list that you can use.
Before you go...I have a request. Depression is on the rise and the dark days aren't helping. Can you please think of one person who could use this list and share a link with them? It might make a huge difference to someone who is silently suffering from seasonal depression.
There is beauty to be found in the darkness.
Just a few weeks ago a group of local photographers here in Portland headed up to the top of Mt Hood to capture the Northern Lights. It reminded me... there is incredible beauty in the darkness.
The same can be true for each of us. We can find beauty in our darkness because that's how we best see the light.
Will you hold the light with me?
I have a new FREE meditation you can download.
Looking for more ideas to feel good? Check out this post from last December Here
All my love,