Seasonal Affective Disorder — or SAD , as it’s known as—is a self-diagnosable condition that affects people’s mood and overall mental state at the same time every year. Typically, this condition is more common in the winter months, as it gets darker earlier and has more overcast skies and bitter temperatures.
The effects of overcast skies and sucky weather can impact you at any time of the year, not just winter. A lack of sunshine and clear skies can drastically impact your mood, your anxiety, and your depression and actually cause you to feel isolated and socially withdrawn from people and activities.
Here’s 12 things you can do when the sucky weather fucks with your depression.
1. Buy super bright light bulbs and put them in every lamp in the rooms you frequent the most.
Bright lights help improve your overall mood, satisfaction, and well-being. Cloudy skies outside mean your living space is going to be duller on the inside. Counteract that by making your favorite rooms the brightest in the house.
2. Turn off all the lights in your living room, grab some blankets and pop in your favorite movie.
Poor weather can make us feel lethargic and have low-energy, so capitalize on that by watching something you can get lost in.
3. Make a list of dreams you want to see actualized.
Did you know that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals if they’re written down? Go bold. Dreams are not insurmountable, so don’t bully yourself into jotting down something that seems rational. Everyone you know has achieved something they never dreamed possible, including you.
4. Take a walk around the block.
When you’re depressed, going out and taking a walk probably seem like the last thing you want to do, but there are scientific benefits backing it up that will alter your mood. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which help calm you and make you feel happier. What better way to counterbalance the anxiety created by poor weather?
5. Journal and jot down all the things that are bothering you and all the things that are being brought to the surface during your depression.
Maybe you’re unhappy at work. Why? Maybe you’re unhappy with the direction your life is going? Address these issues solely to yourself because it’ll make you feel better than keeping them all bottled up.
6. Sit outside and read a book.
Just because the sky is gray doesn’t mean it’s still not summertime. Fresh air does a body good. So does getting lost in a world outside your own.
7. Take this time to finally start redecorating.
Sometimes, when we get into a slump, we hate what’s around us. Now’s the time to paint that wall, buy that succulent for your kitchen counter or finally hang up those string lights above your bed. Sometimes simply changing the arrangement of your room can drastically improve your mood — and the room’s appearance!
8. Play music.
9. Sit on your porch, if you have one.
Or sit in your kitchen or bedroom with the windows open and have a conversation. Face to face, on the phone, it doesn’t matter. Just talk to someone. Poor weather can make you feel isolated and withdrawn from social activities. Talking to someone will help to boost your mood.
10. Start meditating or doing yoga.
Start on something you’ve always wanted to try but consistently say you’re too busy for. Despite what you say, you’re not too busy to spare 10 minutes.
11. Hop in bed with a good book.
Even if it’s a book you’ve read 10 times before. Get cozy and actually enjoy the softness and pleasure of being in bed wide awake.
12. Disconnect from social media.
No one finds pleasure aimlessly scrolling through Instagram. If you do, you’re probably lying. Social media can actually make you feel worse because it often cultivates a negative feeling of oneself. Unplug and find an activity that doesn’t involve your phone. Or if it’s your only way to play music, make sure it’s in the other room so you can’t easily grab it. Social media just wastes time and lives.