To Write Love on Her Arms sent out a newsletter last week reminding people that seasonal depression is at an all-time high, and how they can help themselves.
"It’s no secret that change is hard. While the changing of the seasons may be something we are used to, it doesn’t make the transition any easier. If you struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression, you are not alone. Many people prepare themselves yearly for this battle as the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder.
SAD can impact anyone, no matter what their mental health looks like during other parts of the year. Those who already struggle with depression may feel it even more so during these months, while some may only feel the effects of depression with the change of seasons. No matter what seasonal depression looks like for you, you aren’t on your own. While we can’t change the weather or convince the sun to come up earlier or stay around later, we can be intentional about listening to our body and giving it the things it is missing and needs."
The newsletter goes on to explain the truth about seasonal depression.
"Seasonal depression may be hard to identify at first. For some, its intensity varies from year to year. It can be mild, causing changes in mood or behavior only every now and then, while with others it can seem as though you’re living with a different brain entirely. This might entail decreased energy, frequent irritability, increased exhaustion, and heightened feelings of sadness or depression.
Most people experience SAD during the winter months, but a smaller group will be met with seasonal depression during the summer months. During these seasons, there are peaks and valleys like any other time, but the valleys may feel a little deeper and longer and require more energy to move through. It can be hard to remember and believe that while this portion of the journey is exhausting, it won’t stay like this forever.
An important thing to remind yourself about seasonal depression is that it is, in fact, just for a season. We know there are still plenty of battles to be fought throughout the calendar year, but this is one that will shift and change as the months pass by. While in the midst of this chapter though, it is OK if you need to alter what your day-to-day mental health care looks like. It might even be beneficial to write out a self-care plan that is specific to your needs during this period of time. Try light therapy and take Vitamin D supplements to help make sure your body is getting what it needs. Engage in activities that are weather-specific and search for joyful ways to move your body, even if that means figuring out how to bring “outdoor” activities inside. Consider the assistance of professional therapy and medication. And don’t be ashamed of needing more rest—and always be proud of yourself simply for surviving."