Shorter days during the latter half of the year can cause seasonal depression due to the lack of sunlight. If you experience seasonal affective disorder, consider taking up one of these new hobbies to keep your mind occupied and stay out of a rut.
1. Write Creatively
Whether you want to journal your thoughts every day or write a series of short stories, putting your pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard could help you out. Many people channel their emotions through their writing, and it could help you constructively work through yours. Not everything has to be good — some people just enjoy getting their thoughts and stories out.
Writing fiction is an excellent way to escape reality for a moment and craft a world of your design. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, challenges participants to write a whole novel during the busy month of November. Because the event encourages you to leave your self-criticism in October, you can freely write without issue. It might take some getting used to, but if you’re up for a challenge that will keep your late fall exciting, NaNoWriMo is the way to go.
2. Take A Class
Learning something might be just what you need to keep your brain active through the fog of depression. New challenges train your brain to do or look at something in a new way. Whether you choose to learn about the history of your state or the different kinds of birds that live around you, you’ll be challenging your mind and keeping it busy during tough times.
3. Play On A Sports Team
Sports aren’t prevalent in the winter. Still, you can find a local league to participate in. Building social connections through sports can help lessen the symptoms of depression. Getting some extra exercise can also boost your mood and leave you feeling happier. You’ll make new friends and indulge in a hobby you love — and maybe learn something new at the same time.
4. Volunteer Somewhere
Volunteering allows you to give back to your community. The feeling of doing something good for others can make a difference in your life, whether you spend your time at a soup kitchen or animal shelter.
Some days, depression will leave you feeling like you can’t climb out of bed. If you often feel that way, you can volunteer through your phone. Some apps allow you to give back to your community and assist others over the Internet.
5. Learn New Recipes
Seasonal affective disorder is most prevalent in fall and winter, which is also a perfect time to practice your baking skills. You can learn to fix an array of desserts that will impress your friends and family over the holidays, or you can teach yourself how to make healthier meals with the root vegetables available this time of year.
You might find it more fun to take a cooking class with someone you know. If you learn better independently, consider trying the recipe on your own first, then teaching it to a friend or family member to foster a bond and keep you social. Food unites people, and once you have a few recipes under your belt, others will want to learn from you.
Keep Your Spirits Up However You Can
Depression isn’t easy to battle through. As the months go on and the skies get darker, it can be challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just remember that seasonal depression doesn’t last forever. You can lessen some of the symptoms you feel by trying a new hobby that will make the dark days a bit brighter.