For those of you who experience SAD (Seasonal affective disorder)- Hi! Me too.
Here are a few tips that I've learned about, and implemented, that have really helped me.
1. TELL people. If someone asks how you are, be honest. It can look a little something like this: "How are you?" "I'm kind of having a hard time. There's not enough sunlight for me. It makes life feel kind of hard. "
Yeah, it can be a little awkward. Most people don't expect you to be authentic when they ask how you are. Don't worry about it. Your mental health is a bigger priority than social awkwardness.
PLUS, you start building a tribe that truly will carry you when you need it.
I have had multiple friends check up on me this season either to let me know they are thinking of me and that I DO indeed have friends(depression is really fantastic at convincing you no one likes you) OR remind me it's a GREAT day to soak up the sunshine. Depression is also a super good at making you not feel like doing the things that will help. It's awesome to have someone give you a little nudge.
2. Soak in the sunshine when it's around. My Dr. actually prescribed me to plan a trip somewhere sunny every February. It's that important. And when the sun shows its face, get YOUR face outside. WITHOUT using sunglasses for at least 15 mins. After that you can put on your shades.
3. Schedule friend time. This one is huge for me. I started telling my friends in August to expect random S.O.S. hang out calls from me.
AND I have a standing schedule with one of my friends every week to hang out with each other and tackle our to do lists. We spend an hour at each house and do whatever that person wants help with. From clothes shopping for a wedding, picking up KSL finds, tackling the piles in our homes, weeding, de-cluttering, harvesting raspberries, and re-fencing an area for a pet pig. ANYTHING goes! It's wonderful and one of the biggest game changers this year.
4. Exercise. Its helps. Schedule it in. Go with a friend. Just get it in.