Although your seasonal depression may be beginning to lift due to the weather changing from winter to spring, you could be still finding it difficult to get out of bed or complete daily tasks. It may take some time to adjust to the change in seasons. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel the benefit of longer sunlight hours and nicer weather immediately.
It might take time to undo some possibly unhealthy winter habits’ due to seasonal depression. Everyone’s depression is different and the most effective tools for battling seasonal or major depression may differ from person to person. It’s important to be kind to yourself and take things at your own pace.
Getting Out of Bed
The mornings can be difficult because the amount of sleep and how you sleep will have a great impact on your mood and how well you’ll be able to manage your depressive symptoms. We can’t always control how many hours of sleep we get or how well we’ve slept and it’s okay to have days where you may be less productive because of this.
However, if you often struggle with getting out of bed, you can try giving yourself something to look forward to in your day. This could be putting on a soft, fuzzy bathrobe, drinking a nice warm cup of coffee or tea, or giving yourself enough time to do some morning reading. Making an effort to enjoy aspects of your mornings might make it easier to combat some of your depressive symptoms that are making it difficult to get out of bed. Remember that simple things can uplift a mood.
Being able to get out of bed and enjoy your morning often is dependent on your evening routine. If you are having a difficult day, it might be beneficial to find an activity that will help you relax or lift your mood. These activities can include yoga, meditation, having a piece of chocolate or a warm cup of tea, or watching your favorite TV show.
You might have difficulties falling asleep because you have a multitude of thoughts racing through your head. If this is the case, you can try getting all your thoughts out by writing them down before you go to bed and then putting those thoughts away because now that they are written down, you can think about them later.
Completing Important Tasks
When you feel a heavy wave of depression hit it can be hard to motivate yourself to accomplish anything. However, sometimes it helps to get your brain or body moving. Accomplishing small, non-stressful tasks like reorganizing a kitchen cabinet, updating your calendar, making breakfast, doing a ten-minute exercise, or even something as simple as fetching the mail might help you feel a sense of accomplishment which could motivate you to start bigger more daunting tasks.
It’s important to check in with yourself and decide what tasks you are capable of completing right now. It may vary from person to person but you don’t want to take on a task that may overwhelm you and potentially cause you to give up on your day or worsen your depression. It’s okay to admit that certain tasks may be too much for you right now. If you find yourself obsessing over the overwhelming amount of work you have to accomplish, make a plan to start a project or task later in the day.
Starting your day with a non-stressful hobby might help lighten your mood. This could be anything from playing a song on a musical instrument, journaling, hiking, or baking. It should be something with low stakes that is not stressful, gives you enjoyment, and boosts your endorphins. Often, working out in the morning can give people the boost of energy they need to make it through their day.
It’s okay to have unproductive days and days when you wake up late. Taking the time to understand what your body and mind need is important to maintaining your mental health. If you are feeling overwhelmed, decide it’s okay to take the day off from your busy schedule and allow yourself to engage in some self-care activities.
Keep in mind the tools given to you by a therapist or counselor to help manage your depression. This may include being more cognisant of negative thought patterns or behaviors. It’s okay to rely on your support system if you are having a depressive episode. If necessary, contact a mental health professional for additional support.
Major and seasonal depression can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning or complete daily tasks. While there might be some adjustments you can make to mitigate your depression, it’s important to receive proper treatment from a mental health professional who can give you the tools you need to help manage your specific depressive symptoms.
At Shoreline Recovery Center, we believe that all of our clients deserve a treatment plan that is specific to their needs and has the flexibility to change as the patients’ needs change during their recovery process. We believe in the importance of community and provide activities that will help you connect with your peers in order to create a better support system. No one should have to go through recovery alone and Shoreline is here to help. If you or a loved one is suffering from major or seasonal depression, please call (866) 278-8495 to learn more about what our programs have to offer.