January got you down? Engage.

January is tough. The days are short. The holidays have passed. There may not be a lot of things to look forward to. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) seems to fit with many people. Depression is more common than you might think. So what can we do to get through the January blahs?

We get choices in how we respond- even when we are down or depressed. And how we respond to feeling down makes all the difference. If you are seriously depressed, the obvious thing is to see a mental health professional. But in addition to that, there are some behavioral things that you can do.

Fully engaging in something will break a depression every time. Engage with work. Engage with projects. And most of all, engage with other people. Even if it is the last thing in the world that you want to do. That is why managing depression is often difficult- it requires you do what you least feel like doing.

Getting into work can actually be your salvation this time of year. Exercise does wonders. Sunshine is your friend (light therapy can help seasonal affective disorder). Interacting with other humans is essential- and not just on Facebook. There is something about live human interaction, laughing, and playing that keeps us vital.

Do not stop watching TV, playing video games, and face-booking- you'll just bum yourself out even more. Rather, add some live interaction to it. Call an up-beat friend and explain to them that you have to get and do something.

Also, channel your dark and introspective thoughts into some constructive soul-searching. Keep it solution-focused. Even if you are looking at a painful or destructive pattern, keep it in the context of doing it so you can enjoy life more. Stay grounded. Keep focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. Lose your focus and your lost.

Keep moving forward.

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