6 ways to get out of the SAD slump
Last year I made a post about dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Honestly, it really wasn’t that great. Hiking the Appalachian Trail taught me so many more and better coping skills than the 15 years of therapy I’ve had! So here’s what I learned out there.
What makes me feel better when my SAD is kicking my ass:
GET UP! Get out of bed. This is seriously the hardest part of my day. Its SO hard. But the days that I get up at 8am and leave the house by 10am and go get work done I feel SO SO SO much better than the days that I stay in bed until 10am and don’t leave. Get out of the house while you’re at it! If you don’t have a job that requires you to be in a certain place, you still need to get out!
MOVE YOUR BODY I don’t care how you do it but you HAVE to move. If the trail taught me anything its that walking can heal everything. Don’t underestimate it’s power. Even a quarter-mile 15 minute walk is enough to make a difference. Here’s some easy movement ideas for winter (if you live with snow): indoor stationary bike, short walk or hike, snowshoe/cross country ski, alpine ski, yoga (you can do this in your bedroom if you want!), swim at an indoor pool, short kettle bell or light weights workout.
SWEAT You can sweat by moving your body, but you can also sweat by going to a sauna. Sauna’s are proven to help reduce inflammation (which is associated with depression) and they will change your life. If there isn’t a sauna near you but you can find hot yoga it has a very similar effect. You will feel like a new person when you leave, I promise! Check out this article by Rhonda Patrick for more info. Before you go, be sure to read about proper sauna use!
EAT Eating whole fruits and vegetables as your main source of food will actually change your mood. This is no joke. My hangry tendencies decreased by at least 70% when I stopped eating white flour and white sugar more than once per day. Eating pancakes for breakfast will literally cause me to have a bad day, I’m not exaggerating. If you need to do smoothies, do it. If you need to hide your veggies in a light sauce, do it. Whatever it takes, eat better! If you need help weaning off of white flour and white sugar, shoot me a message. I can help you stay accountable or just give you tips!
LET IT OUT Whatever it is you need, let it out. Whether it’s through a journal, talk therapy, talking to yourself while you go on a long walk, talking to a friend or family member, mumbling to your cat. Whatever your method, you gotta let it out. Don’t bottle up your feelings or problems. The more you get them out, the less weight you keep on your shoulders. Anxiety from bottling things up can actually cause you physical pain and stress, which definitely contributes to the ‘I just want to lay in bed all day’ feeling.
CAFFEINE This sounds ridiculous but caffeine is the only way I can start my day in the winter. Coffee, black tea, green tea, liquid sunshine, pick your poison. Caffeine will literally give you a pep in your step. It’s hard to find energy within ourselves when experiencing SAD. There is no shame in using caffeine to help you out.
I hope these help you. It’s not a complete list, but these are the top 6 ways I get out of the slump. Sometimes I get out of it only for a day, sometimes a week. The most important thing is remembering your purpose. Who you are. What you want. And how you’re going to get it. Baby steps are key during these times.
Sometimes I simply set the goal of completing 3 tasks each day. The tasks can be as small as making your bed or as big as working on a big project. The one goal I set for myself every single day is to remember to ask myself, “What do I need to succeed today?” Find what you need and what works for you and do that.