Last week, I made the decision to call my doctor and increase my antidepressant medication for the winter. I dread the holidays. And the last two winters left me in a severe and active depressive state.
Therefore, this year, I am being proactive and increase my meds and introducing new tools and techniques in helping me battle the demon depression. I can’t ignore the holidays and the extra stress and emotions it piles onto me. But I can take action in helping reduce how the holidays and winter effects my disease.
I have been doing research and continue to find out different methods and tools to add in my daily regiment. These are the ones I currently use and will increase or I am bringing them into my life as new.
Therapy Light Lamp
I have heard about people using a light lamp for years. Finally by recommendation from a fellow sufferer, I purchased one. Basically this lamp helps reset your body and brain to recognize the sun in the winter months. I will use it every morning (guide says this is the best time to use!) while getting ready. Basically I sit with this lamp facing the side of my face and voila I am getting some much needed sun energy. The lamp is said to increase energy, improve sleep, and add to overall well being. Fingers crossed it helps me.
There are many options to choose from. The link below is the lamp I purchased. Pricey. But I am worth health.
Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp: Ultra Bright 10,000 Lux (AMAZON)
Vitamin D pills
We make our own Vitamin D naturally by the sun. Winter brings less sun and more gray days. Thus often times, we are deficient in Vitamin D. There are multiple theories in how the D plays a role in the brain. According to research, Vitamin D receptors are found in the brain and plays some sort of role. Nothing is for certain that taking a Vitamin D supplement is beneficial for depression but I am willing to try.
Vitamin D3 1000 IU Supplement (found anywhere but the link is for Target)
Also, Vitamin B12 is another supplement that a person can increase to assist with depression and anxiety. Once again, more research is needed to understand the correlation between the two. A once a day multivitamin would work for general health too.
CURRENT AND INCREASING
I was introduced to oils about 5 years ago and initially used them to help my kids sleep better. Now I use essential oils throughout my house and my daily life routines. Sometimes I forget to grab them in the moment, especially for depression, but I want to focus on utilizing the oils more. Citrus oils are great mood boosters. Lavender for calming and peace. I am a fan of Young Living. If you decide to use essential oils, please do the research and educate yourself on each kind as they can are not recommended for everyone. Pregnant women, children, pets, and those taking certain medications need to be extra vigilant.
If you would like to know more about YL oils and would like to sign up for the wholesale discount, feel free to message me and I can get you all the information.
This is my least favorite tool because I am not a fan. But, it is VITAL for me and my mental health. I prefer walking and other exercise outside. However, winter in Nebraska doesn’t always allow for that. I will bundle myself up and brave the elements. Getting outside can radically change my mood.
Join a gym, a yoga class, take dance lessons, running club. Something. A few times a week. Do it with a friend. Make them hold you accountable. This is for your health. My health. My goal is to exercise 25 minutes a day 3x a week.
Face to face interaction
Winter comes and most of us stay home. We don’t want to brave the elements. So we sit. Often times alone. I do this. A weekend goes by and I realize I didn’t have any type of human connection. Not virtual. Doesn’t count. I am going to push myself to make plans and keep them. Reach out to someone I haven’t seen in a while. Make new friends. Is this easy? No. Do I feel like a loser most of the time? Yes. But I never regret it.
I currently am in talk therapy and will not stop anytime soon. There are several types of therapy. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is proven effective for trauma. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) focuses on the development of coping skills and changing cognitive distortions and behaviors. Both very beneficial for mental health.
What my hope is for this winter and holiday season is that when spring comes, I am not a puddle on my floor. Rather than ignore what has happened, I am being proactive. I expect the upcoming hard days. I plan for long nights alone. I know it won’t be easy.
But I am not giving up.
****I have no personal endorsements for these companies or websites. I am just sharing what I like and use. As always, PLEASE talk to your doctor or mental health professional before you start a new course of treatment.