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How to be productive when you're depressed. These tips will help you to cope with depression and explain why you may feel depressed with the changing of the season.

If you’re a high-functioning depressed person who’s feeling particularly low with the change of season, this article will help you to cope.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is very common, but many people think this only occurs in the winter when the weather is cold and gloomy, and the nights are longer.

However, SAD can occur at any time of year, and many people see their depression worsening in the summer months.

Why Do People Suffer from Summer Depression?

The reasons for SAD at different times of the year are not always black and white. With people who get worsened depression symptoms in the winter, it seems more predictable since it is dark, gloomy, with more days spent indoors, more isolation, and less vitamin D from the sun.

However, there are a different set of reasons for getting it during hot months. This might include body image issues with people wearing less clothing, having memories from a trauma that occurred in a previous summer, or just a cyclical type of depression that tends to occur at the same time every year.

How to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder

This might be easier said than done, especially if you have low functioning depression where you don’t want to do anything or see anyone. However, if you can find the right reason to do something over the summer, it can make a big difference in how you feel.

Try to find something fun you can do over the summer, whether it is with family and friends, or a solo activity if you are okay with remaining isolated. Finding an activity you enjoy doing when the summer rolls around makes summer at least a little easier to deal with.

Make it exclusive to summer so that you have something to look forward to when the season changes.

Read more on ways to help a friend or loved-one with depression here.

Get Exercise When You Can

Endorphins are released to help lift your mood when you exercise, so it is never a bad thing. If it’s too hot in the summer to exercise outdoors, go to a gym or just dance around in your living room.

You can even make it a group activity with your family, which is also great for you when you suffer from depression. See the science-backed benefits of yoga, a great group activity or solo activity to try if you suffer from depression. 

Replace Your Triggers

Of course, you’ll also want to reduce your triggers as much as possible. If you have a past trauma that occurred during the summer season, try to figure out what is the exact trigger that reminds you the most of it when summer comes around.

It may be something very simple like a song, places you go, or just the beach. Avoid these types of triggers as much as you can.

Is social media making you feel worse about your own isolation? Either try to reach out to people to spend time with, or just close social media to get rid of this trigger.

High VS Low Functioning Depression

Do you manage to function well when going through a depressive episode or are you feeling low most of the time? Learning the difference between the two can help you to find the best methods to cope. 

High Functioning Depression

High functioning depression and low functioning depression differ in what you do, how you react to things in your life, and how other people see you. It is often hidden in plain sight because you go to work or school, take care of your family, and show up when it is needed.

But you might also isolate yourself at times, similar to someone who is struggling with anxiety or who has an introverted personality. People with high functioning depression will do just the bare minimum, while low functioning depression makes even that seem impossible on the worst days.

Signs of High Functioning Depression

Here are some common signs of high functioning depression:

You Have Confidence Problems – If you are someone who is constantly critical of yourself and are overwhelmed with low self-esteem and a lot of self-doubts, you might be suffering from high functioning depression.

It is not uncommon to never really see yourself as being good or talented at anything, unattractive, and unworthy of affection.

You Rarely Experience Joy – Are you finding that you don’t experience a lot of joy in your life? It might be hard to be happy or excited about things, or when you do something other people find exhilarating, your mood and happiness level is just neutral.

This is another thing that often happens with people who have high functioning depression.

Everything Seems Like a Huge Deal – People with high functioning depression often find that small things become or feel like big things almost immediately. This can be good or bad things, but it often starts with one slightly negative thought that snowballs and gets out of control very quickly.

You Are an Angry or Irritable Person – While this can be true of people with any type of depression, it is often a sign that someone has high functioning depression, because other parts of their life might seem normal and like they don’t have a mental illness at all.

How to Be Productive with Depression

If you are someone who struggles with depression, or you know someone who does, then you are aware of how it takes a toll on your life. One significant way it affects you is with your work or anything you need to get done.

It truly is difficult just doing daily tasks, let alone trying to move forward with your goals. But there is hope! Here are some tips for being productive when you are suffering from depression.

Learn Relaxation Techniques

This type of natural “remedy” for depression is not going to cure it, but what it can do is help you to relax and practice breathing techniques that at least get you through the work that needs to be done.

When you are feeling like all you can manage is to sleep or maybe take a shower, but even that would take a lot of work, try deep breathing exercises.

These will let you put aside all your thoughts for the time being, and only focus on your breathing. It is often a good distraction that will let you at least get up and get something done. Read more about the powerful benefits of being still here.

Set Short-Term Goals

Thinking about what you will be doing a year, 5 or 10 years from now can be seen as almost impossible when you have depression. Instead of stressing yourself out with long-term goals, stick to very short-term goals instead.

This means things you can do today or next week or have done in the next month. It allows you to focus on a smaller amount of things and simple tasks that you will feel good about completing.

What is one thing you can get done this week that will help you move forward? Do that, and don’t worry about the rest for now.

Be with Inspiring People

You know that when you have depression, it is important to have a good support system. Aside from that, you should have a circle of people who inspire you to be better and more productive.

Don’t spend your time with friends who party too much and tend
to encourage behaviors that aren’t healthy for your mind. You need people around you who constantly support you in positive ways to do better, even with your depression.

Give Yourself Time

Don’t try to push yourself too much, or during those times when you wind down and try to relax, all of your depressive thoughts can come rushing back to you with a vengeance.

Take it slow, pick a few tasks that help you to move forward, and give
yourself patience. 

Diet is a very important part of our overall well-being and certain vitamins can help you to get through your depressive episodes and have fewer over time. Below are some that will help you to cope. 

The best vitamins for depression: Eat these foods for depression or take these vitamins for anxiety to help when dealing with depression

Vitamins for Anxiety that Help to Relieve Depression Side Effects

While you should still seek treatment from your doctor and a therapist as a low-functioning depressed person, there are some natural remedies that can also be useful to help you cope. One of them is using certain vitamins and supplements. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Depression

The great thing about this vitamin is that you can either take it as a supplement, or you can simply switch to a healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are easily found in many foods you eat, such as salmon, sardines, milk, and some types of yogurt. See ways that eating a clean diet can benefit your overall health

If you don’t eat these types of foods, take a fish oil capsule once a day, and you should be getting your daily requirement. Omega-3 fatty acids are great at stabilizing your mood, which is how they can help tremendously with some of your depression side effects.

Turmeric for Anxiety

This might be in the spice and herb category more than a vitamin, but it is an excellent nutrient to add to your diet if you suffer from depression.

Like all the other vitamins on this list, it is not going to cure your depression or replace other medications you take, but it can definitely help with some of those side effects and symptoms you experience.

Turmeric is an amazing spice for your brain since it can protect your mitochondria with the powerful antioxidants, among many other physical benefits.

Vitamin D and Depression

One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin D, which is even more common if you don’t go outside much during the day. You can get vitamin D naturally by being in the sun more often, but if you work inside during the day and only get out at night, you are definitely not getting enough.

An alternative is to take a vitamin D supplement, which reduces the stress of trying to consume enough foods for this supplement. There is also a very close link between vitamin D and depression.

Melatonin for Insomia

Lastly, try to take melatonin if you have insomnia related to your depression. Not sleeping enough can make depression worse, and depression often causes insomnia.

It is a vicious cycle that you need to remedy. Melatonin is a natural supplement you can take each night to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It isn’t harmful to your body, so there is no reason not to at least try it.

If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate vitamins for anxiety in your diet, check out more from our book store. A healthy diet is a good start to supporting your desires to be more productive when depressed.