How to combat seasonal depression during a pandemic

Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 02, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The sun was shining Wednesday, but the late fall and winter months in Western New York can be long, cold, and cloudy.

“That lack of sunshine really does a number for a lot of us,” VP of Adult Clinic Services at BestSelf Behavioral Inc.

She says those gray skies contribute to the seasonal depression many people feel here in the Buffalo area.

“And now, with the pandemic, we even lost some of the things we would have done like going out to dinner or participating in social actives,” she said.

Seib says the gray weather, coupled with daylight saving and a global pandemic, makes it hard for Western New Yorkers to find motivation.

“When you get home, and okay, I worked a long day, and now it feels like it should be bedtime already. So psychologically, where am I drawing that motivation from to be active and do additional things,” she said.

So what can you do to lift your spirits? Seib says one way to keep motivation high is by creating a schedule

“People got thrown out of their routine quite a bit. I’m working from home, many people are. So routine can go a long ways to helping out mental health,” Seib said.

In that daily routine, Seib suggests adding physical activities.

“Just being able to get up and move is really important," she said. "I know we don’t have access to gyms at this point in time, but if you can put on a coat and go for a walk and get some fresh air that can make a difference.”

She also suggests eating right and staying connected with those you may not be able to see face to face.

“But if that’s not working, or if you’re just struggling to be able to do that, then certainly, people should reach out. There’s a lot of help available, and even just talking to someone can really make a difference.”