How to Support People Close to You with Seasonal Depression

How to Support People Close to You with Seasonal Depression

People often joke about having seasonal depression when the weather gets colder. For those who have Seasonal Affective Disorder, or have family members with seasonal depression, it isn’t really funny. Many can feel powerless because they don’t know how to get help or help the ones around them.

According to Deborah Pierce MD, “keeping a regular routine will expose you to light at constant and predictable periods. Studies show that regular sleep boosts your mood, which may help with seasonal depression symptoms. 

Another way to actively improve your seasonal depression is writing down your thoughts, it has been shown to improve your mood. According to a journal helps you prioritize life’s challenges and identify symptoms you’re unaware of.

If you are worried about someone close to you, there are ways to help, firstly they need to be diagnosed by a medical professional. Beyond seeking medical help, there are things you can do.

Sometimes all people want is to be listened to. You can ask something as simple as, “how have you been today?” or “my day has been horrible, how has your day been?” The questions you ask doesn’t matter, just listening to them does. Opening up the conversation like this tells them that someone noticed and cares.

Another way to support them is to invite the person out, and encourage them to hang out and change environments. You could take them out to a movie, take them out to eat at their favorite restaurant, or just go for a walk in nature with them. Getting outside and doing just a small amount of exercise is proven to improve people’s moods. Spending time with them as well as getting outside is super important.     

Lastly, there are many in-person therapy groups, as well as many easily accessible online hotlines and resources that are reliable and safe for everyone to use.

Here are 3 Helplines:

 SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The Samaritans HelpLine – 1-877-870-4673

Emergency Mental Health Services – Arlington County – 703-228-5160