Winter is harsh enough when you live with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and the pandemic has only worsened this season, especially for touring musicians.
It can be incredibly helpful to have tools you can use in your everyday life. To take control of your emotional and physical health, we share some creative ways to thrive in the face of SAD.
Create Balance and Light at Home
The feel of your home can influence how you feel each day. What is meant by this is that simple things like clutter, stale air, and dirt can create negative energy within your home. That energy seeps into your routine and subconscious, whether you even realize it, and you may begin to feel more stressed, tired, and cross. So, begin your healing by clearing this bad energy.
One of the tips for clearing bad energy is opening windows and letting fresh air into your home. While this may be difficult when the weather is cold and bleak, you could alternately try opening blinds and curtains to let in a bit of sunlight. Brightly lit spaces can help relieve SAD symptoms.
Stick With Mood-Boosting Routines
The feeling of depression and low mood are both common with SAD. The NHS also recognizes this patterned shift in mood as “winter depression” and recommends that affected people check in with their GP when feeling depressed. Other common SAD symptoms may include despair, extreme fatigue; persistent cravings; and a sense of irritability.
It is no surprise that more people are experiencing similar feelings due to the pandemic, which can exacerbate SAD symptoms, making it more crucial to develop a routine to fight depression in the coming months. That routine should include essential self-care like restful sleep, regular exercise, and checking in with a counselor.
Get Outside for Exercise When Possible
One recommendation for dealing with low mood and depression is to go outside for regular walks. It’s safe to exercise outside so long as you limit your contact with people. So do schedule some walks in local parks, public gardens, or forests, and doing so will lift your spirits.
Since exercise releases endorphins that can fend off depression, working out indoors can also help cope with SAD. According to Karmel Choi, a researcher at Harvard, 35 minutes of exercise is enough to boost your mood, and that’s whether you work out indoors or outside.
Seek Support From Friends and Professionals
Improving your home, exercising, and getting outside are effective ways to treat SAD symptoms. However, perhaps the most important thing you can do is stay connected to your network of support, including your GP and counselors and the people you love.
If you’re a musician looking for mental health help, find a therapist to help you deal with depression, anxiety, and other common emotions associated with SAD. If you are looking for creative ways to connect with loved ones, these suggestions from Vitality Magazine may be helpful. They include web chatting while having dinner and scheduling routine calls.
Living with SAD during an already difficult time for musicians may feel overwhelming. Know that you have options for fighting the effects of SAD and the pandemic. Find a routine that helps and stick with it, make positive changes at home and stay connected to loved ones and people who can help.
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