Ask Sophia: How Do I Cope With Seasonal Depression?
Question: How Do I Cope With Seasonal Depression?
Answer: Great question. I think I definitely deal with some seasonal depression as well but it’s not too often because fall in LA has pretty much consisted of perfectly sunny and mildly chilly days thus far. On those rare winter days that it’s just dark and gloomy I feel heavy and lethargic, like the only sensible thing to do is make hot chocolate and cozy up in bed. The thought of being productive, driving all the way to school, and feeling enthusiastic and peppy is close to nonexistent. I can see those cold, dark days being my new reality next year at a college in the midwest or on the east coast… then I’ll be a pro at all things cold weather and winter.
Because seasonal depression is a mental health illness I want to provide you with a proper definition: “Seasonal affective disorder occurs in climates where there is less sunlight at certain times of the year. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal."
Of course, if these symptoms are severely affecting you there are lots of people that you can talk to (a trusted adult, school counselor, therapist). Just because a lot of people experience some sort of seasonal depression doesn’t mean you should take any less significant measures or precautions handling it.
I want to address the hard parts of the days for very mild cases of seasonal depression and some things you can do (or at least things I’ve done) that are helpful.
You wake up and it’s a gloomy day. Here we go. First, you’re hitting the shower. Hot shower and semi-put-together outfit. I truly know nothing about dressing warmly. Maybe there’s not a real way to dress ‘put together’ when you have to bundle up and keep warm but just try to go for leggings instead of sweatpants… that kind of thing. Then, a large coffee. You can make it yourself or go to treat yourself to a Starbucks or wherever you get your coffee. I need good music pumping through the car: Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Justin Beiber. Early 2000s club boppers. Specifically, ‘Best Part of Life’ by St. John and ‘Voulez Vous’ by Abba have been getting me in the zone lately. Let good vibes flow through your entire morning routine and set you up for a positive, successful day.
After-school Sluggish Vibes
This is not going to sound like music to your ears but all experts preach that the most effective way to relieve your seasonal depression and get you out of a slump is through exercise. LET'S PUMP SOME ENDORPHYNS BABY. If you can, go on a run. If the weather inhibits any outdoor activity then do a little Alexis Ren 10-minute abs or Chloe Ting in a location in your house next to a window.
A little fun social interaction could be fun so call someone who makes you smile. Your loud friend, the one who just talks and talks, your silly aunt, your neighbor friend to come over and do homework.
Finally: DIVE INTO THE SEASON. If you spend your entire life wishing it was summer, you’re wasting 3/4th of the year. Embrace all the festive traditions that come with every distinct season. Don’t take time for granted or give up the opportunity to set goals, try new things, and make a million amazing memories with loved ones despite the wheather. There’s beauty in the dark, long days too.
We got this,