Seasonal depression — yeeeeeeHAW, y’all. What a fuckin’ TRIP! The worst roller coaster I’ve ever been on. It makes all those sociopathic rides at Six Flags look a civilized paddleboat around the Central Park reservoir.
Let’s take a minute to debunk the myth that SAD is a rich man’s disease and/or an excuse fuckboys use to not follow through on plans. Well, I can’t confirm the second one with complete confidence, BUT I can say that the general decrease in morale between the months of December and April is very, very, very real. Like, 2 weeks ago I was totally fine, stomping around my hood in a one-off NFL patch jacket, crushing it at work, watching this hot dude eat vegan ice cream out of my mouth, just absolutely loving life. The next thing you know, BANG I’m in my bed in a rainbow striped wool pajama set from the fucking GAP, sobbing into my childhood stuffed rabbit and wishing myself dead. Well, maybe not quite dead, because I haven’t had a chance to leave a lasting impression by dropping a bestselling anthology of short stories about New York…or dropping down to 120 pounds. Either way, my brain is getting darker than the sky at 4:45pm.
The good news? My Twitter game is FIRE when I’m sad.
The bad news? Literally everything else.
I wrote a guide over the summer about my daily routine to keep icky feelings at bay — Magnesium, Tulsi tea, foods with good fats., etc. — but, you know, tears evaporate quickly when it’s warm out. This time of year, they freeze into icicles and the wetness makes retinol serum itch really badly. We need more than just a supplement; times are tough now.
Here are some suggestions.
There have been studies linking a vegan diet to significantly reduced depressive feelings. I can attest to that, but can also say with confidence that eating a lentil does NOT provide the same warm n fuzzy feeling as a cheeseburger. Try to make little adjustments during daylight hours so you can indulge in munchie food on lonely nights. On the flip side, you might want to read up on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Also, watch your booze consumption. Or don’t.
2. VITAMIN D
As in dick, not the supplement — although that also seems to also be a good idea. We’re prone to isolating ourselves, but it’s so much better to find a new bae to snuggle up and be sad with, or at least bump uglies with. HOWEVER, sex without meaning can have double the bad aftereffects in the winter. Choose your partners wisely.
Frigid months are blissfully devoid of FOMO, and as such are an awesome time to catch up on culture: art exhibitions, books, movies, plays (yes, SOME people under the age of 40 go to the theater). Leaving the house to do this can feel like walking to the guillotine, but it’s worth it if you’re single or live alone; community is a much more powerful drug than anything written on a prescription pad.
The mind-body connection is undoubtedly important. Apparently doing cardio next to a window first thing in the morning is nature’s best antidepressant, but that’s gonna be a HARD no from me. I prefer candlelit yoga around the time the sun goes down, or better yet, an infrared sauna, where I can sit on my ass and yet still feel like my heart is going to fall out of it after 30 minutes.
5. [SOME SORT OF] GROUP THERAPY
This can be as simple as inviting friends over to have cocktails and shoot the shit, ranting about God knows what with strangers on Twitter, or finding free support groups via Meetup. A more legit psychological experience is also highly recommended, and effective. What should you not do? Look at pictures of your ex’s most recent beach vacation with their new partner, or impulsively apply to Love Island USA.
Sometimes we need to be not-so-gently reminded of how lucky we are to even have homes with heating.
Need even more?
7. A lightbox
8. A psychiatrist
9. Taking it upon yourself to get your hands on and then administer a nightly double dose of Klonopin (but you didn’t get this idea from me)
10. Staying up until 4am writing frantic, horrible poetry and watching rare videos of Bukowski doing readings in San Francisco
You know what they say — April showers bring May flowers. Or, I guess, winter snow makes the summer grass grow, or some shit. If all the above fails, just think of things that are BETTER under a canopy of melancholy. Sure, “happy girls are the prettiest,” but sad girls have a certain je ne se quois. Sad girls can also get away with smoking cigarettes and wearing sunglasses indoors. I consider those two major wins.
Happy hibernating, angels.