Ways to Fight Depression After the Holidays
It may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, but I find that creating the right atmosphere helps. The months following the holidays and going into early spring are known for being drab and cold so I find having warm-toned lights in your favorite room of the house can help to create a nicer, more inviting atmosphere.
If you love your Christmas lights and aren’t ready to take them down just yet, then don’t! Find a way to make your space as uplifting as you can. This may encourage you to work at daily tasks or projects inside the house.
Light Therapy Boxes
Light therapy boxes are aimed more towards those who suffer from SAD but can work for anyone experiencing feelings of depression — especially in the darker winter months. A light box mimics natural, outdoor light and can help your body regulate the chemicals that could be affecting your depression:
Melatonin: a hormone within the body that plays a large role in sleep patterns and your biological clock – also known as circadian rhythm.
Serotonin: a brain chemical that affects mood.
By using a light therapy box for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, your body will be exposed to enough extra light to increase the above mentioned chemicals to promote mood stabilization. When purchasing a light therapy box, be sure to find one that’s intended for use by those with depression or SAD.
Often times when you’re depressed you feel less motivated or fatigued, which could lead to an extended amount of time in bed or on the couch. The best way to improve your energy levels and break the habit is to force yourself to exercise.
Even if it’s just 15 minutes of movement several times a day, it will boost your endorphins and serotonin levels which will help to stabilize your mood.
Exercise doesn’t have to be weight lifting or going for a run if that’s not going to keep you motivated. Find a movement activity you enjoy so you’re more likely to do it often.
I find yoga helps because it can be relaxing as well as challenging depending on the style. Swimming, dancing, Pilates, and even going for a walk are great ways to get out of the house and continue to be active.
As previously mentioned, one of the symptoms of depression as well as SAD is a change in appetite or cravings for carb-heavy foods. Consuming high levels of sugars and complex carbs can negatively affect your blood sugar, which will in turn affect your mood.