I have always loved fall. It has always been my favorite time of the year. The chilly sweater weather, the beautiful colors, pumpkins, apple cider. All of it. I feel myself this time of year. When the chilly mornings start coming back around, I get so excited. Who doesn’t love bundling up in a big, baggy over sized sweater?
But don’t get me wrong, while I absolutely love this time of year, it does unfortunately play a huge roll in my emotions. As I have gotten older, and life has happened, the change of the seasons have really started affecting me. I never believed that seasonal depression was real, until I finally realized that is exactly what I was going through.
The older I got, the more I noticed how my emotions changed through out the year. And at first, I thought it was all in my head. I really just thought that I started paying so much attention to my emotions all of the sudden, that I just started acting a little different. Which I know is crazy. But I never truly believed that is what I was experiencing.
For the past few years, it has really taken a toll on me. The fall after my father died, it really hit me. I was already struggling with my mental health at that point, so I think the seasons changes just pushed me over the edge. Once I really started to take better care of my mental health, I finally realized that the way I had been feeling on and off for the past few years, wasn’t how I was supposed to feel.
I have learned that I feel pretty good in the summer. You have longer days, more sun, and it allows you to spend more time outside. While it isn’t my favorite time of year, I usually feel very good mentally. Once the end of summer comes around, and the fall weather approaches, I tend to struggle a little bit. Days get shorter and you start spending more time inside. Once winter rolls around, it feels like it is dark when you wake up, and it is already dark by the time that you get out of work. I basically start to feel like my quality of life just goes downhill-even if nothing happens to cause me to feel this way.
I like to joke around with myself and say “Well, it is getting cold, I might need to up my dosage.” Or “Well, it is getting warmer, I can probably start taking a lower dosage.” But all jokes aside, I do take mental health seriously. And I know that it is not a joke, but it is good to find comedy in situations. If I can’t make fun of myself, what can I do. It is the little things, right? If you are like me, and already struggle with depression anyway, you know that it only gets worse when the cold sets in. The sun isn’t out to give us that extra boost that we need. But we can get through it!
Mental health has always been looked at as such a taboo thing, and it really shouldn’t be. I personally know that there are a lot of people struggling with depression, and I am sure that some feel like they cannot be open about it, or even feel comfortable enough to seek help. Sometimes our brains and our bodies need a little help. And that is okay-it is completely normal!
You take the time to eat right and exercise to keep your body healthy, but you tend overlook your mind. It is time to start taking care of it too! Work on your mind while you are working out to look good for that new bathing suit you plan to buy this next summer. Or if you are like me and don’t ever exercise (I am just being honest here..I am so lazy) and you prefer to curl up under a huge blanket on the couch all day, do that too. I find that I get extremely tired when I am having bad days. So if sleeping helps you, do it.
If you think that there is a chance that you may struggle with seasonal depression, it is time to take action. Do the things that make you happy, even though I know that can be hard some days. If you just feel like nothing is helping, don’t hesitate to make a doctors appointment. Don’t be like me and wait until you have completely hit rock bottom. I refused to believe that I needed help. I never wanted to be “that person” who was “mentally unstable.” But now, I feel no shame in expressing the things that I struggle with. I want people know that they are not alone.
It. Is. Okay.
I have been much happier being “that person” on medication, than I was not being “that person” with a low quality of life. Listen to yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else does. And if something seems off, trust yourself. So what if the cold weather sets in, and you need to take a pill once a day to feel yourself again. So do over three million others. And I know this sounds super cliche, but you aren’t alone!
For those of you who are right there with me, I see you. You got this. And just a friendly reminder, don’t forget to take your pill today.🖤