Written by Taylor Gjesdal

1. Meet your basic needs:

Making sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy and nourishing foods as well as exercising are especially important for both physical and emotional health. These are important, because even the slightest change in weather can have a huge impact on your body and how you feel day to day. By meeting your basic needs your body will be healthier and stronger which then greatly impacts your mental health as well.

2. Stay connected:

It is quite common for people to begin staying inside more, which can then increase feelings of isolation. It is important to stay connected with friends and/or family and create time for those that are meaningful to you. Whether it be five minutes on the phone with someone or a weekend visit from an old friend, social interaction can greatly decrease feelings of loneliness.

3. Be kind to yourself:

Be understanding and patient with yourself as you navigate the many emotions you may feel during this time. Rather than feeling frustrated and being hard on yourself, do something for yourself that is gentle and kind, like watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite song.

4. Talk about it:

Many people associate feelings of relief and understanding when talking to someone about the depression they experience. Sometimes just having someone to listen to your experiences can help people navigate the negative emotions that they are feeling.

5. Plan ahead:

If you know that your feelings of depression get worse as the weather changes, take some small steps in planning ahead so that you will be able to take care of yourself when you need it most. Whether it be making and then freezing some healthy meals for yourself to eat later on, or buying a sun lamp to use when the days become darker; these little changes can make a big difference in how you feel later down the road.

6. Make little changes:

Sometimes even the littlest things make the biggest differences. Some find it helpful to add more bright colors to their home, whereas others find it helpful to use aromatherapy. By making whatever little change works for you, you will be making a larger change to how you feel.