Seasonal affective disorder affects tens of millions of people worldwide every year. And it’s natural to feel a bit sad during the winter months. The days are shorter and darker, and hope may feel more distant. But the light inevitably returns the light inevitably returns as the Earth continues its yearly pilgrimage around the sun and winter turns to spring. For many, more daylight alleviates anxiety or even dispels it together. But that’s not the case for everyone.
If your mood doesn’t seem to improve with the warmer seasons, it’s a sign you might have persistent anxiety. Persistent anxiety can be challenging to live with, but there are ways you can make it better. Some are more straightforward, while others may take longer before you start seeing their effects. If you feel you have persistent anxiety, here are four ways to handle it.
Throughout this article, you’ll read about many things you can do to improve your persistent anxiety. Now, medication isn’t for everyone, but it is helpful for some. But if you feel like you’re struggling — that, for you, daylight never breaks — it may be worth pursuing professional mental health treatment.
It’s easy to downplay the importance of your mental health. But anxiety that persists is something to consider seriously. There’s no shame in needing help; you may be surprised how much the right medication can alleviate your anxiety. So if you feel a weight you can’t seem to lift, consider looking outward before you keep looking inward. So if you think a consequence you just can’t seem to lift, consider looking outward before you keep looking inward. So if you feel a weight you just can’t seem to lift, consider looking outward before you keep looking inward. And directly adjusting your chemical balance may enable you to improve other areas of your life that you don’t feel motivated to tackle.
In modern society, getting trapped in the game of comparison is so easy. You might feel like you’re going nowhere compared to everyone around you, and need must keep busy constantlyeasuring your worth against the apparent success of others is a recipe for disaster. Social media is a vampire that will drain all your energy if you’re not careful.
Think back to when you were a child. Think back to when friendship was second nature and summers were endless. “The world” was everything around you instead of the glowing rectangle in your pocket. Remember how important Fun was to your existence and how joy and laughter were always around the corner.
Joy is one of the best remedies for anxiety, and joy and Fun often go hand in hand. Neither is prioritized in the modern world, especially compared to manufactured concepts like productivity. If you’re struggling with perpetual anxiety, make having Fun your priority. Schedule it if you have to. Plan a date, a walk in the park, or a Saturday morning watching your favorite cartoons. Make time for whatever it is that puts an unironic smile on your face and the feel-goods in your brain.
One of the best ways to ensure that your anxiety persists as long as possible is to dwell in it, which is easy in winter. Short days and cold weather aren’t always the most inviting, and staying indoors is often simpler. But that also usually means fusing with your couch for a few months.
Get up and move. Inactivity has been shown to increase levels of stress, anxiety, and depression directly. So if you’re experiencing persistent anxiety and live a relatively sedentary life, make a change. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, sign up for a gym membership, or ask a friend to go with you on a hike.
You don’t even have to go outside if you don’t want to. There are plenty of at-home exercise classes online and equipment you can order. And even if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with equipment, you can take up calisthenics. Calisthenics are exercises based on gymnastics, many of which require little or no equipment beyond your own body. Whatever you do, keep it simple — find something that feels good for you and stick with it.
It’s almost shocking how much the food you eat affects the quality of your mental health. The more you can supply quality food, the more likely you are to reduce your anxiety. Just like different cars require the right fuel, your body requires the right nutrition. And The good news is you can eat food for youthat tastes great for you. You may need to adjust your tastebuds a bit.
Many readily available foods are loaded with sugar. From fast food to pre-packaged meals to candy and soda, it’s easy to eat way more sugar than you need. Habitual sugar consumption can lead to cravings and desensitize you to more subtle or natural flavors. But once you reduce your sugar intake, you’ll appreciate natural flavors that are just as, if not more, delicious than artificial alternatives.
It can be hard for many people to start cutting out sugar, but cooking more meals at home is a great place to start. And there are tons of cooking guides and videos plastered all over the internet to get you going. Search for a recipe for one of your favorite meals, maybe from your childhood or a favorite restaurant. The more natural foods you eat, your taste and cravings will adjust over time. And, as your gut biome and body chemistry rebalance, you may also notice your mood lift.
When it comes to handling persistent anxiety, consistency is key. Changing your mood for the better is possible, but don’t let anyone sugar-coat the process. It takes time, effort, and character to change. It may not be easy, but taking medication if necessary, playing more, moving around, and eating well will make a big difference. Just ensure you give yourself enough time to reap the benefits of all the seeds you’re sowing.