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I love the fall, the ‘BER’ months bring me so much joy, and it truly is the coziest time of year. But it also brings along with it Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Before we continue I want to state that I am not a Doctor or medical professional of any kind. Everything I say in regard to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Anxiety, Depression, etc. is all based on my personal experience and suggestions. Before you implement anything that I suggest, please discuss it with your personal physician or therapist.
In 2021, I got serious about prioritizing my mental health, and while I am still proud of my personal growth, I have regressed majorly in some areas. We don’t shame ourselves, though, fam. We just are self-aware queens and continue on.
I’ve been telling myself for months now that I need to tighten up my routines and prioritize my mental health, but alas, I have not listened to myself whatsoever. We are now in the middle of October and I am feeling the winter blues coming around big time.
I am a huge fan of the festive months. Holidays and festive everything bring me so much joy, but even so, I still suffer from SAD. Besides the feelings of absolute worthlessness, I actually do love being a hermit in my house and never leaving or seeing humans, so I can get down with that part because that’s me year-round. But anyway, enough about that.
I like to have things to look forward to and I also live, laugh, and love for soup season. I’ve decided to make a TikTok series called Soup Season-al Book Recs where I make a soup and voice over a festive book recommendation. So fun! I’m so excited.
This is actually a multipurpose series because the first thing to go the hell when my depression starts up is that my kitchen turns into an absolute mess. If I’m filming a series in the kitchen, I have to keep it clean and organized so I can post it online.
I’m also excited to find some fun festive book recs for you guys (and myself) because as I already mentioned I am such a fan of all things FESTIVE.
I know personal development books aren’t the most popular but this book changed my life and I will recommend it forever and ever.
Some of my personal favorite tips for Prioritizing Mental Health
And remember, I am not currently following my own tried and true methods. AGAIN….do not beat yourself up over it. Self-awareness is plenty and you’re doing fine.
When I was at my darkest point, I don’t even remember why or how I got myself to start, but I started running. I’d get on the treadmill and run as fast as I could for a minute and then eventually a mile. It changed my life. This is one of those great habits I’ve stopped. I miss it.
Exercise is so beneficial for mental health, but again, there are stigmas around it that make it seem like a chore or, for some of us, that it is only about “getting skinny”. Very toxic in my personal opinion.
Calling it movement instead of exercise is also kinder to my own brain.
So if you struggle with the idea of exercise for mental health, try just thinking of movement options. This can be a little walk around the block, a yoga video on YouTube, or anything that suits your needs. This was the main contributor to my mental health being so fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough.
Start with 10-15 minutes and if you like it, I was up to 60 minutes of movement a day and it was glorious. One day I’ll get started again because I know firsthand how beneficial it is.
2. Get at least 8 hours of sleep
This is never an issue for me. I love sleep almost as much, if not more than I love soup season. I know not everyone gets the recommended time of sleep, so try to prioritize the snoozing.
I like to use lavender and cedarwood essential oils if I need help sleeping. I also keep some melatonin tablets on hand, but I try not to use them too often. Again, talk to your doctor about this if you have issues sleeping.
I’m just going to continue to remind everyone to talk about this stuff with their Physician because, again, I am not a Doctor.
This is another area I have been slacking in and from personal experience, I know it makes a huge difference in my brain health. I was taking a probiotic, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, and a green supplement. I am not recommending brands at this time. Please do your own research and discuss with your physician what their recs are.
I need to start this again. My whole process has fallen apart so please don’t think I’m looking down on anyone who isn’t doing these things because I currently am not, either.
Along with the supplements, diet change was so important. I had stopped drinking soda and alcohol altogether. I wasn’t snacking on processed foods and my brain was so happy.
It comes down to conscious choices and sometimes these can be hard choices to make if you’re really struggling. Don’t beat yourself up, bestie.
We’ve got a couple of mental health tips out of the way, now let’s talk about BOOKS! I’ll be posting more about seasonal books on the blog and on my social media platforms. I would love to be friends on Instagram and TikTok if we’re not already. You can find me @ stephlivesinpages on both platforms.
Since it’s October, here are some October-y books to read!
This list will include some books I have not read yet and each will be clearly marked as to whether or not I have.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
I read this book this past year and absolutely loved it. It is such a sweet, cozy read that is perfect for this time of year.
Hollow Heathens by Nicole Fiorina
I have read this book and am totally and utterly obsessed with it. It is the first in a series of interconnected standalone and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next books. I loved this story and this world so much.
Happily Haunted Afters by Brittany Kelley
I have not read this book yet. It is available on KindleUnlimited and you can click the image above to read the synopsis.
Awkward in October by Teresa Yea
I have not read this book yet. It is available on KindleUnlimited. This is said to be a grumpy sunshine romance and ya girl does love herself a grumpy sunshine. I want to read one where the girl is the grump. Does anyone have recs for that?
Ghost by Kat Blackthorne
I’ve been seeing this a lot on booktok and it’s getting rave reviews. I can’t wait to read this. It is also available on KindleUnlimited.
Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice by Becky Monson
Okay, this book sounds absolutely adorable. I really hope I manage to fit this one in this month.
And there we have it. Some Seasonal Affective Disorder tips as well as some Seasonal Book recs. Stay tuned for more fun seasonal stuff and if you have any SAD tips or seasonal book recs of your own, I’d love to hear them!