How to Handle Seasonal Depression
As my freshmen year of college was coming to an end, and my summer of returning back to my hometown was there in front of my face, I felt an immediate shift of sadness for the things that were to come of my life. I felt that I had made so many great strides in self discovery, while away from home. I had felt that all of the self reflection wouldn’t be worth living up to because of how trapped and isolated I was post the first college experience that I had been given. On the ride back home, I thought of all of my friends that I would miss and the experiences that I would miss out on simply because of distance. I was stricken with grief and longing for how my life had been on my own.
That same summer I had dealt with serious bouts of anxiety that put me in the hospital. I could not stop overthinking. I could not stop thinking less of myself, or stop myself from being high strung on the things that weren’t even real. However, after a visit with my doctor where I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, I decided to take my depression and anxiety into my own hands.
In order to prevent the constant, never ending thought cycle I started to read books and allow my imagination to wander through that realm instead of focusing on things that I could not control. Books gave me the opportunity and outlet to feel free again. I liked that words created that type of safe space for me in order to express myself in the way that I wanted to do it.
Music was another aspect of my life that gifted me with the outlet to allow myself to be as imaginative and free spirited as I wanted to be. On my favorite episode of Steven Universe, Garnet and Connie perform a song called “Mindful Education” that touches on surrendering to our fears. Also, in a way to deal with my environment, it was the only thing that created a sense of healthy boundaries.
Whenever I feel my seasonal depression approaching, I make sure to pay close attention to my immune system since it is closely associated to our emotions. Nutrition is an important part of who we are and not many people know or understand that. According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, “individuals experiencing depression are also not necessarily getting the carbohydrates, proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that they need.” Before anything else, make sure to include a balanced meal in order to take on the day and be the best person that you know that you can be for yourself.
Tackling depression is an ongoing cycle and something that we all have to experience one way or the other. An important part of my growth and development in this area was understanding that I was not alone. And in order to feel like I was not allow, I needed to take proper steps to make sure that I was taking care of myself in the way that I needed to be doing.