Truth be told, I’ve been struggling lately. It happens, without fail, almost every winter. EVEN in Palm Springs. Here’s what I’m doing about feeling SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)…

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The Struggle Is Real

A big reason I struggle in the winter is the lack of sunshine. I straight up have SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder) or Seasonal Defective Disorder as Fred Baby calls it. Haha. It’s actually not very funny, but laughing is one thing that helps and we share the same sick sense of humor, so there’s that.

 Julia over at Lemon Stripes just did a great post about Beating SAD this week, so give it a read, but here’s the deal…

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms:

Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, loss of interest, mood swings, or sadness

Sleep: excess sleepiness, insomnia, or sleep deprivation

Whole body: appetite changes or fatigue

Behavioral: irritability or social isolation

Also common: depression, lack of concentration, or weight gain

Do you have any of these Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms?

I have ALL of them, except for weight gain (so far).

SAD Lamps

We’ve had a SAD lamp for years, ever since living in New York, but I didn’t think to bring it to Austin. Big mistake. HUGE. Bonus points if you caught that reference.

But Fred Baby ordered me this modern SAD light therapy lamp, so I’m all set.

 I’m only half joking when I say if there’s a cloud in the sky, I feel like killing myself. (I know suicide is not funny and this is not a desperate cry for help, so please don’t come at me). But when I don’t see sunshine for more than a day, I’m a totally different person.

 Can you relate?

If so, or if you get down in the winter – or whenever – what do you find helpful?

 

What Helps Me When I Feel SAD

 

  • Walking (moving helps so much)

  • Listening to podcasts

  • SUNSHINE!

  • Watching Gilmore Girls (Oy with the poodles already!)

  • Eating Chocolate

  • Watching Friends

  • Watching an Audrey Hepburn movie (especially Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

  • Treating myself to an iced coffee drink or iced tea

  • Watching a comedy special (laughing helps SO much)

  • SAD light therapy lamp

  • Puppy cuddles (Odee is the best!!)

  • Taking a bath

  • Buying myself something pretty

  • Buying someone else something pretty

  • Giving someone a compliment or performing a random act of kindness

  • Getting offline + into nature or doing something with my hands (crafty)

  • Going on an Inspiration Walk or Drive (go with the goal of getting inspired; it helps to get out + to have the goal of discovering something beautiful or fun – a flower, a color combo, a cute wall, door or mural…)

  • Accepting that I don’t feel great and not beating myself about it

  • Taking medication and not beating myself about it (last night, after struggling with insomnia for the billionth time and feeling SO irritable, I finally took half a Valium). I woke up feeling so much better. I haven’t had to take a Valium in months, but sometimes our biochemistry needs the help.

Every year I say I’m going to embrace the coziness of the season. Get hygge and all that. Lean IN. But despite that desire and radical acceptance of winter, it turns out I can’t control those feelings.

But, at least the above things help sometime. 

Do you have any tips or tricks when you’re feeling the winter blues or mean reds?

I hope the above might help you too. And I hope it goes without saying that you should definitely talk to a doctor or therapist/professional if you’re feeling depressed or have any thoughts of self harm.

p.s. And yes, I know it probably sounds ridiculous to those of you who experience real winter, snow and the like that someone in Austin and Southern California struggles with SAD too, but there you have it.

PHOTOS by FRED MOSER 

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