When the Sun Goes Down

I’m Ashley, and I am the TMS coordinator and treatment facilitator for Hagan Health. I have worked in the mental health field for 6 years now and started in this field because of my own life experiences. I have worked in crisis management, peer support, administration, and leadership before moving to TMS. I feel it is my purpose to be of service to others who struggle with mental health issues and addiction. 

With the recent time change, colder weather, and gray skies, seasonal depression can affect many people. I am here to share my experience. I have struggled with increased depression during the winter months for many years, and it has been easy for me to isolate and find myself dwelling in self pity. 

My depression usually starts when the time changes and it becomes dark at 5:30pm. I go to work and leave work when it is dark, and I slowly start to go to bed earlier because of the loss of daylight. I also dislike the cold weather, so I will keep to myself and not leave my house except to go to work. I know that I am not alone in this, so I’d like to share how I cope when the season is coming. 

Every morning, I will say or write down a few things I am grateful for. It could be that I am grateful for my morning coffee or that I am able to work and make money to support my family. Being grateful allows me to remain humble and reminds me that depression can make things seem a lot worse than they are. 

I know that sometimes it is difficult to get out of the negative thinking, but you can create things to be grateful for. It can be something small that you enjoy like eating your favorite cereal or getting your favorite treat to make your day a little better. I also make plans once a week that get me out of the house–for example, go visit my family, go out to eat with friends, or go see a movie with my husband. 

Another thing that I like to do is create a hobby that I enjoy doing ahead of the winter. That may be doing a project at my house that I have been putting off like scrapbooking or home improvement. I also like to read self-help books or reach out to my support group and ask for help if I’m having a bad day. 

Self care during the winter months is really important and mindfully doing things to make you feel better makes a huge difference. Seasonal depression can make you feel helpless or hopeless–but, if we can work on the things that are in our control, it can help to ease the burden. And remember: there is no shame in asking for help! Life can be tough, but you do not have to go through it alone. If you would like to get started with treating depression, give us a call at 502-326-3011!


Ashley Crawford

Ashley Crawford

TMS Coordinator