GREAT FALLS- It's that time of year again. Rolling in leaves, watching football, sipping on PSL's and pulling out our sweaters.
But these seasonal joys come with shorter days and colder weather. Which is enough to put most of us in a funk.
Now, for many people, fall and winter are shaping up to be a real mental health struggle.
On top of having to manage seasonal depression, some will also have to deal with the demands of life during the pandemic and the stress that comes with them.
“Because of all to social isolation and the changes in our normal everyday life people are really struggling with how to manage and how to fit in these new changes," said Elizabeth Lowney LCPC and Behavioral Health Specialist for SCL Health Medical Group in Butte.
She says it's important to be self aware.
“If a person knows they’re going to start struggling at a certain time of year they should plan on it by incorporating things into their schedule to help them improve mood," said Lowney.
Lowney says it can be hard, so sometimes you'll have to force yourself to do activities to help improve your mood.
“Schedule in some time for selfcare activities that you enjoy, having some kind of social connection whether it be through phone or video calls or meeting a friend in a place that you can socially distance. A big thing is also being active and eating healthy. I know around this time of year that kind of tends to fall on the back burner with all the holidays and stuff but it really does significantly improve mood," said Lowney.
She also says getting set up with a counselor to help you navigate through the depression is also helpful.
If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out to a local mental health care provider. Or call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.