Things to Do When It Gets Darker Earlier

men's seasonal depression

As the calendar flips through autumn and into winter, the days gradually become shorter, and the sun sets in the early evening. For many, this shift can lead to a specific type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder, also known as the “winter blues.” Characterized by symptoms that start in the fall and continue through spring, SAD can sap your energy and make you feel gloomy. However, you can counteract these feelings with new indoor hobbies to boost your mood and overall well-being.

Combat Seasonal Depression With These Indoor Activities

SAD symptoms can include a persistent low mood, lost interest in previously enjoyable activities, being lethargic and experiencing changes in your sleep patterns or appetite. Here are 10 things you can try to improve your mental well-being and relieve seasonal depression.

  1. Exercise indoors: Regular exercise is a potent mood booster. Consider setting up a small home gym where you can do yoga, lift weights or take online workout classes to keep your body moving and endorphins flowing.
  2. Explore culinary skills: Cooking and baking can be incredibly therapeutic. Trying out new recipes or making treats to share with family and friends is a fun activity that also provides a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Creative arts and crafts: Distract yourself from negative thoughts by expressing your creative side. Whether it’s painting, knitting or DIY projects, these activities can offer a sense of calm and achievement.
  4. Read and write: Immersing yourself in a good book can help you escape to a different time and place, while journaling or creative writing, can be a therapeutic outlet for your thoughts and feelings.
  5. Indoor gardening: Gardening isn’t only for the outdoors. Creating an indoor garden can bring a bit of nature inside your home and help you feel more connected to green and growing things when it’s dark outside.
  6. Learn something new: Fall and winter can be an ideal time to start a new hobby or learn something, such as a musical instrument, a different language or even job skills like coding or graphic design.
  7. Meditation and mindfulness: Practices like meditation and mindfulness can help manage stress and improve your mood. There are numerous apps and online resources to guide you through these practices.
  8. Home organization projects: Tackling home organization projects can be a productive way to channel your energy and improve your living space, which can uplift your mood.
  9. Connect with others: Don’t underestimate the power of connection. Regularly schedule video calls with friends and family, or consider joining online groups or forums that share your interests.
  10. Pursue indoor photography: Exploring the art of photography at home can be a unique way to see your everyday environment from a new perspective.

Remember to Seek Help

While engaging in these activities can be beneficial, they should be part of your broader strategy for managing seasonal depression. If your symptoms persist or worsen, or you start relying on drugs or alcohol to manage your mood, get professional help. Our team at PACE Recovery can offer support and treatment options tailored to your needs.

As the evenings draw in earlier, focus on creating a warm and positive indoor environment. By incorporating some of these activities into your daily routine, you can help mitigate the effects of seasonal depression and find joy and satisfaction during the darker months. Remember, every season brings unique beauty and opportunities for growth and reflection. Contact us to learn about our men’s-only recovery center in California.