Seasonal depression is a genuine concern. The lack of sun and increased cold have psychological effects that can easily bum you out. Combating seasonal depression may be a yearly struggle for you, but it’s one that you can overcome.
One way to ward off seasonal depression is to keep yourself busy. Filling your schedule with wholesome and productive activities leaves little time for wallowing. These 9 time management tips will help you stay busy and keep seasonal depression at bay:
1. Get Outside
One of the biggest contributors to seasonal depression is the darkness. To combat it, make time to get outside whenever there is the sun. Getting some bright rays will do wonders for your attitude, despite the biting cold.
Look at your weekly forecast to get a good idea of which days will provide the most sun. On days that promise to be bright, schedule some outdoor time in your online calendar. Be sure to bundle up so you can enjoy it as much as possible.
2. Start Your Day Right
Building on the importance of sunlight, get your morning routine on lock for the best results. Even on days, you can’t get outside, waking up at a good time to maximize daylight will help you out a lot.
Develop a morning routine with your online calendar. This tool can help you adjust to earlier mornings to take advantage of as much sun as possible. The sun will be your best friend when fighting seasonal depression.
3. Stick to a Routine
Add on to your morning routine by developing a routine for your entire day. There’s no need to be super strict about it, but a good routine can get you in a rhythm to coast right through seasonal depression.
A routine takes away idle time, which can be dangerous for someone trying to fight depression. The structure also helps you maintain healthy habits such as a good diet and sleep schedule, both of which are key to making it through the winter in one piece.
4. Make Time for Hobbies
Keeping your mind and body active will provide the enjoyment you need to keep seasonal depression to a minimum. Instead of filling your days with work and chores that might make you feel stressed, make plenty of time for hobbies that you enjoy. You can still be busy while also having fun.
Look for openings in your online calendar where you can schedule a time for your hobbies. These activities are easily left on the back burner, so proactively make time for them. You’ll be grateful you were able to fit me-time into your day.
5. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise has been proven to help not only with physical health but also mental and emotional wellness. It gets your body moving and produces chemicals that act as happy triggers in your brain. When seasonal depression is hanging over your head, a little exercise is sure to help.
Adding exercise to your daily routine is fairly easy because it can be done at any time of day. You can add it to your morning routine, lunch break, or as an evening activity. The important part isn’t the time you exercise or even how long you spend doing it. What matters is making it a regular habit.
6. Make a List
Keeping yourself busy isn’t always as easy as it seems. There will occasionally be times when there’s nothing to do, and you resort to binge-watching or social media scrolling–a recipe for disaster. For those days when you’re not as busy as usual, prepare a list of things to do.
This list can be a checklist of chores that need to be done around the house or several activities you can turn to pass the time. Filling your day with activities is the key.
7. Seek Out Experiences
Look at your online calendar for the upcoming winter months. Do you have any events planned? Filling your schedule with experiences is a great way to enjoy yourself and put a pause on seasonal depression.
There are plenty of events you can choose from. You can attend local concerts, plays, and parties, or look at taking a trip someplace new. You could even plan a vacation to somewhere warm for a welcome change of scenery.
8. Spend Time With Others
Seasonal depression is much easier to keep at bay with a little help from your friends. Spending time with others gives you people to talk to, spend time with, and have fun. It’s a great way to get you off the couch and gives you things to look forward to.
Try to make time for friends and family as often as possible. You can even share your online calendar to coordinate schedules and find times that work for everyone. Shared calendars also help you iron out details to make each meet-up one for the books.
9. Plan Ahead
If you’re just enduring through the winter, change your mindset and start looking ahead to warmer weather. Planning ahead is always a helpful practice, and straightening out your schedule in advance will lead to a smooth spring. Proper planning sets up your future and will keep you busy during this downtime you’re trodding through.
Even the thought of warmer weather and springtime activities can do some good for your mental state. Start planning activities for next year in your online calendar, and take some time to add some things to enjoy in the present.
Warding off seasonal depression requires an active effort, but it’s more than possible to accomplish. Be sure to use your online calendar to fill your time with positivity so you can feel nothing but enjoyment throughout these winter months.