Do the winter months get you down more than they probably should? Well, you are not alone. Every year, without fail, I struggle with a little bit of seasonal affective disorder. It tends to start up once fall ends (around daylight savings time) and winter arrives and sticks around the end of January until early February.

I feel like I’m not the only one that suffers from this, though. Every year, I’ve noticed quite a lot of other people are struggling with the seasonal blues as well. It seems we all have so much fun during the holidays that afterward there is a lull whenever January arrives.

So, what exactly is seasonal depression anyway? It is a mood disorder that happens every year around roughly the same time. Symptoms can include decreased energy, trouble concentrating, fatigue and the overwhelming urge to be alone. I try not to let these symptoms get the best of me, though. To combat seasonal affective disorder, I have found some self-care activities that have proven to pull me out of a funk, and infuse my life with some much-needed energy.

Here are 16 ways you can combat seasonal depression:

1. Watch the sunrise. It is the ultimate mood booster

Photo: Pexels

2. Journal it out whenever you’re feeling anxious, confused or sad

3. Buy yourself fresh flowers or seasonal decorations to furnish your home.

4. Spend some quiet time with some meditation or prayer

Photo: Pexels

5. Take rest when you need it and don't ever apologize for doing so

6. Have a good heart-to-heart about things that have been bothering you with a loved one or close friend

7. Clean/organize anything and everything

Photo: Pexels

8. Remember what you’re genuinely grateful for by keeping a gratitude journal

9. Make your before-bed routine a real treat, full of pampering and relaxation

10. If you have a pet, spend some time giving them snuggles, because how could that not cheer you up?

11. Decorate your home and office with items that bring you peace and happiness – photos of family members and friends, your favorite artist, motivational inspiration, pictures of your pets, etc.

12. Indulge in something you love each month, whether it’s a massage at a spa, or just something simple like enjoying a good book or movie before bed

Photo: Pexels

13. Learn to let go and free yourself of any doubt. We all have this idea of perfectionism, but you are doing your best at any given time!

14. Exercise, even if it’s something light like housework or a leisurely walk around your neighborhood

15. Take a long, luxurious bath using your favorite items at home

Photo: Pexels

16. Start practicing a hobby that makes you happy. Planning is one of my favorites. I like to decorate my planner every Sunday for the coming week, and it is so therapeutic and relaxing

Are you struggling with the seasonal blues this year? How do you combat it?

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