It’s that time of year again. And I’m not referring to that time of year where we spend time planning our new years resolutions. This is the time of year where there are more darker days causing a lack of energy in our bodies, a surplus in our appetite, and a decline in our serotonin levels increasing our chances of being a victim of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Have you ever noticed that during the fall and winter, you begin to become more depressed and you can’t quite understand why? Well according to an article by UnityPoint Health “the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are similar to those of other types of depression including sadness, extreme fatigue, trouble concentrating and more.” But have no fear, below are a few ways to keep your spirits high during these extremely lackluster months.

  1. Create a list of tasks you would to achieve for the up and coming New Year.

There is no better time to get your New Year’s resolution list started than now. Chances are you are probably “sad” about something you “failed” to do this year. Firstly, don’t view this as a failure. Picture 2019 as your growing year, prepping you to be better equipped to complete all of the goals 2020 has coming your way! Maybe you didn’t get to enroll into the M.B.A. program like you thought you would, but did you happen to discover a new passion that you were not aware of before? View this as a win! You never know where this new aspiration can take you. For all you know, this unique endeavor can be the highlight of your 2020. It’s worth a shot. So put it on your list as an opportunity you would like to explore.

2. Discover new ways to stay better in shape without even leaving your home.

I don’t know about where you live, but it is currently 46 degrees here in Maryland with heavy rain every other day, so the chances of me leaving my house to go workout are slim to not going to happen. Instead, YouTube University has become my saving grace for never leaving my house but still getting an effective workout in. You simply pull YouTube up on your Smart TV or mobile device, and search for home workouts geared towards whatever part of your body you would like to work on. Exercise does wonders when it comes to combatting against SAD. According to the Summit Medical Group, “many people can manage or avoid SAD with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise and 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight each day.” And remember, the better we look, the better we feel. 2020 has a lot in store for you, don’t you want to look your best while accomplishing your goals? I thought so!

3. Spend more time with your friends and family.

Spending time with your loved one this time of year helps you to remember all of the little things you take for granted. Like the nonstop support of your best friend who continuously pushes you even though you have no idea what you are doing in life. Or the consistent laughter that arises each time you and your loved ones come together. Spending time with those who truly love you will keep your mind focused on positive energy and will cause you to feel less “sad.” It also awards you the opportunity to get some good advice from people who may know you better than you know yourself about your goals for the upcoming year. Use this time to bounce ideas off one another on how you all will takeover 2020 with your new and improved confidence that the fall and winter months thought they robbed you of.

Sometimes it’s hard to cope with not feeling that good about yourself during this time. But try to remember all that you have to be thankful for. And never lose sight of all that you have achieved already. There is no traveler’s guide to how to live your life. Without a doubt, mistakes will be made but picture these as lessons and try to manifest on how you will fulfill these tasks the next time around. Seasonal Depression is only temporary. Use this time of year to identify new ways to become the best version of yourself. The becoming of self is a dreading experience. But never knowing who you are or what you truly desire is the most terrifying feeling of them all. SAD doesn’t stand a chance against you as you use this time to discover who YOU are becoming.