Say hello (and goodbye) to Seasonal Affective Disorder

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As the days get shorter and colder, I’ve noticed it’s been a challenge for me to get out of bed in the morning.  Mornings are usually my favorite time of day; I’m up early, ready for coffee and to get moving.  However, once fall rolls around, I find myself doing the exact opposite- feeling numb and wanting to stay on bed.

Even on my days off I’ve had a hard time motivating myself to get out of the house, socialize, or get things done… then it hit me: it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It’s that time of year when we begin to wind down from summer, let go of the past, and prepare for the dark months ahead; and it’s only normal for us to feel a little “off.”

I’ve needed to find small, simple joys to get myself through these past couple of weeks.  I’ve had to not only live “one day at a time,” but also moment by moment.  It’s easy to get dragged down by the grind, cold weather, and the decreasing sunlight that I have fallen short in writing out my morning gratitudes, making plans with friends, and spending time in nature.  The things I enjoy the most and hobbies that come naturally to me have been pushed aside as I have sat in a pattern of discomfort.

Acknowledging your Affective Disorder is the first step!

SAD usually affects me the most when I’m in a routine- waking up, going to work, going home, going to sleep, repeat.  I’ve distracted myself from the turn of the season in previous years through major life changes- getting a new job, moving to a new city or filling my time with a major project, relationship or a hobby.  At the moment my life is pretty stable- no major changes or events in the near future-  so I need to make a conscious effort to keep my spirits up.  Life is about living, not just going through the motions.

I decided to make a list of things to look forward to every day, including the things I need to remember to do to stay in balance:

  • Meditation
  • Morning coffee
  • Enjoying the sunrise by the river
  • Writing a list of gratitudes
  • Eating balanced meals (remembering to eat is a big one for me)
  • Going for plenty of walks throughout the day
  • Checking in with friends
  • Reading positive / inspirational books
  • Avoiding social media / negative news
  • Journaling, drawing, and painting- anything creative!
  • Discovering new events and hobbies- make a calendar of things to do and look forward to
  • Self care- painting nails, getting a massage, enjoying a cup of tea

Remember, you’re not alone… and acknowledging that “this too shall pass” is so important right now!  What helps you get through seasonal depression?

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Every Day Kindness

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It’s been quite the year, and it’s only October.  While it has been an insightful time of growth and self discovery, I still can’t help but feel discouraged and saddened by what is going on in the world around us.  The negativity in the United States is getting worse, which only fuels more anger and resentment.  There is always someone to point the finger at and someone to criticize.  Where is the love?

I’ve been growing tired of living in a world that seems to only care about other people and major problems in the face of tragedy…. and that I’m becoming desensitized to such events as they happen so often.  Every few months there is something worse than the last.  What are we all doing on the days when there isn’t a major tragedy or natural disaster?

Each and every small action we take matters.

Let’s think about our neighbors every day, not just when people get hurt, please.  I hope we begin to see more action, and less social media statuses and complaints.  Kindness doesn’t need to be talked about, either.  It just happens. 

Actions speak louder than words.  

We can help others, spread kindness, volunteer, and advocate for what we believe in 365 days a year- not just when there are mass shootings, deaths, and natural disasters.

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Visit KindaKind.com for inspirational stories, 365 days of kindness, and to learn new ways to spread love and kindness around you.  I have written some posts there, too.