Fall got you in your feels? Us too. Seasonal Depression is on the rise as we come to shorter days, and longer periods of darkness.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, "...seasonal affective disorder is when people may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”) and begin to feel better in the spring, with longer daylight hours.". So what can I do if I'm feeling these effects? First, always contact your doctor. The NIMH also recommends Light Therapy, Psychotherapy, Antidepressant medications and or Vitamin D.
How can I help my loved ones?
ONE: CHECK IN
As Dwight Schrute would say, keep it simple stupid. Keep it basic and check in with your people during this time of year. But we know texting "How are you" can sometimes be a little too cliche so here are other ways to check in.
Is there any type of support you need right now?
Want to do FaceTime coffee later?
I've been thinking about you lately. How are you doing?
How can I be a good friend to you right now?
Do you need me to listen, give advice or fix it?
TWO: JUST ASK
One of the best ways to know how you can help is ASK. Ask your friends if they need a listener, an errand ran, someone to fix it or simply just empathize with them. Don't beat around the bush. Sometimes we try to beat around the bush when a loved one is going through a particularly hard time, especially when it comes to grief. An easy way to put it is, "Hey, I want to be a good friend to you right now, but I don't know how. Can you tell me what you need?"
THREE: UNDERSTAND THEM
In our experience, most people just want to be heard and understood. Just being there as a someone who understands and empathizes with them is almost always enough. Remember when you were a kid and you threw up in middle of the night? What's the first thing you did? Ran to you parents room to tell them, "I threw up." *insert meme here* It is a human need to feel understood. Psychology today states we might even need to be understood more than we need to be loved. We just want someone to understand our pain and that's enough. Sitting with someone in their pain is powerful and should not be overlooked.
FOUR: ACTS OF THOUGHTFULNESS
We always say here that it's never about the box. When you send a Brightbox, what you are actually saying is "Hey, I thought about you and put some effort in to show you that." Especially with a personalized note that you put some thought into, your act of thoughtfulness and connection goes a LONG way. Pssst... We've got a Grateful for You box dropping soon. It's the perfect way to say, "You mean a lot to me, sending a bit of sun your way. "
FIVE: YOUR NEEDS MATTER TOO
Lastly, we know if you're reading this, you are most definitely a giver. The best way to help your loved ones is to help yourself first. We all know the classic oxygen on the plane example. Check in with yourself. What have you done this week to recharge and give your mind and body a break? Coincidently, every member of our executive team here at Brightbox loves baths. Our Social Media Manager, Regan, gave us all the best life hack when she told us to turn on our LED Galaxy Projector during our nightly bath. Remember that your needs are just as important and make a goal today to do even just one thing for yourself everyday.
At Brightbox, we just wanted to say, "THANK YOU" from the bottoms of our hearts, for being a giver and a friend. It can be hard to balance everything you have going on in life right now, but we know from experience its so much more rewarding when we are able to help lift someone's spirits. So thank you, we mean it. Now all we ask -as a friend- is that you take some time for yourself, seriously!
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You also can text the Crisis Text Line (HELLO to 741741) or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.