How to survive the Winter Solstice when you have seasonal depression

It’s official. Fall is over. Winter is here and we have no choice but to answer her call. The wind’s chill drops in temperature, the clouds get thicker, and as for us? Well, we retreat into our bodies more than usual, and probably feel more introverted than we do when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Although today is the longest night of the year, and though this can be scary for those with seasonal depression, the Winter Solstice doesn’t have to be so intense. With a few tips and tricks, you can navigate this long night with a healthy and sound mind.

It’s important to remember that the Winter Solstice is a return to light.

The Winter Solstice marks the end of the waning year. The past six months, since the Summer Solstice, the days have been getting shorter and the nights longer. But after tonight, we enter the waxing year. From now on, the days are only getting longer. The Winter Solstice is a day when we go in to explore our own depths, while we sit with ourselves in introspection.

However, the Winter Solstice is also a return to light, and this is especially important to remember if the winter is hard for you. We’re through the thick of it; it will only get better from here.

Create a comfortable space for yourself and use scents to help.

According to Everyday Health, working with aromatherapy can help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal depression. You can use essential oils and an oil diffuser to do this, or even just place some oil on your skin. Lavender, with its relaxing and calming effect, is very beneficial, and citrus is as well for anyone who wants something more vibrant and uplifting.

Creating a comfortable space during wintertime is also vital, so get decorating. You can use candles, crystals, and talismans to decorate. If you live somewhere without sunlight, you can even get a light therapy lamp. Making sure you have enough light is vital, so treat yourself to a new lamp or some new lightbulbs to spruce up your space.

Get your body and your feelings moving.

Another easy way to work with the energy of today’s solstice? By journaling and exercising. Journaling your feelings will not only help you explore them, but will allow you to express yourself in a healthy way while transmuting these feelings from your brain to paper. If you’re called, you can create a ritual out of this, incorporating meditation, candles, or any other practices you want to honor the energy of the day.

Moving your body is another way to take care of yourself. As Everyday Health points out, exercise can help alleviate symptoms of depression and seasonal depression. If you can’t get outside, try exercising near a window. Even taking your dogs for a walk or doing some yoga can help you feel better. And as always, remember: Your feelings are completely valid and there’s no “right way” to feel — no matter what.

Ask for help if you need it.

Listen, we’re not meant to go through life alone. We all need help at some point or another, and that’s totally normal and brave to ask for. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your feelings, try talking to someone. This can be a therapist, a friend, or even a family member. Be honest about where you are and what you need. Nowadays, there are online spaces to talk to therapists, too, so you can make sure you get the help you need when you need it most.

Winter can be a difficult month for many of us, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. Don’t be ashamed of where you are in your journey or healing. You deserve to find happiness and comfort — even on the darkest night of the year. We hope this helps shed some light on how you can do that.

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