Hi, I’m Briana and I completely understand why SAD exists. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD (which secretly makes me giggle a little), is a depression type that correlates directly with the change in season. Although possible to occur in some during the shift to spring/summer, this predominately occurs to those diagnosed during fall/winter. It makes sense, right? I know I’m not the only one who gets sad as fuck when we gain that hour making it dark basically all the time. If you’re a corp-bot like me, it’s probably dark in the morning while you’re getting your day started and dark when you get home, probably making your day end at a time you’re not used to as opposed to your super lit life during the summer. You’re tired and sluggish, eating a ton, and wanting nothing more than to just stay in bed. I feel you. As a person who has a history of depression and anxiety, the last thing I need is a breakdown due to lack of light. So, I’m choosing to acknowledge the possibility of my glow dampening by the change in season, and combatting that with things I can do regularly to keep me with my usual pep! Here’s a few practices to keep your soul shining even when the sun isn’t:
- Embrace the darkness! There’s so much you can still do in the dark (get your mind out the gutter). Make a list of fun or relaxing activities and make an effort to do a few a week. This will help keep you energized when it’s pitch black at 5 pm, hopefully not throwing off your sleeping pattern by wanting to KO so early. Maybe you can find a place to stargaze!
- Candle time! Candles are my favorite. Make an event out of finding candles infused with soothing oils, or some that just give off a smell that keeps you at peace. This is an example of darkness actually being on your side; what fun is a candle in the sun?
- Stay active! I know this can be a struggle, because I’m definitely going through it with this one. You can’t give in to the laziness that comes with the darkness, hold yourself accountable and keep up your routine. Or start a routine if you need one! I’ve decided to workout in the middle of my workday. This way, on days when the dark I get home to pulls me in, I can snuggle into it knowing I’ve already done my day’s duties.
- Earn that comfort food! Like many others, the cold just makes me want to eat. That in itself could be detrimental, so along with staying active and working on not stress eating (or bored eating, or sad eating, or whatever eating), taking the time to cook your meals is super rewarding! Of course, takeout is so convenient when it’s cold and you’re tired, but cooking and breaking a sweat in the kitchen is the perfect way to earn your comfort food and avoid the guilt and shame that frequently follows a high calorie meal.
- Meditate to Create! I LOVE a good guided meditation that’ll lead me somewhere sunny and vibrant and warm! You can do this on your own or via great guided meditation practices on YouTube. Meditating is definitely a practice and takes time and work to create an inner and outer space of peace that you can keep and harness whenever you need, but once you get a hang of it, you can create sunshine within you that will glow all around you!
Of course, soak up the Sun when you can. Get those smiles in and make them last through the way too early nighttime. Understand that feeling down is okay, be it from this election (we won’t go there), or because we’re lacking daylight. What matters is that you take the time to take care of you and be sure to keep your inner glow shining bright like a diamond!