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How to Beat Depression by Pursuing Your Passions October is here, and with it comes Depression Awareness Month, a time to shine a light on one of the most challenging emotional experiences: Depression. As the days grow shorter and colder, you may already begin to feel the impact of seasonal changes on your mood. In today's blog, let's explore navigating this season and protecting your mental health by prioritizing this overlooked element of your life. Weathering Seasonal Shifts With daylight diminishing, we experience less sunlight, a natural way to boost your mood and help you stay calm. The colder and darker it gets, the more tempting it is to stay indoors and become less active. However, regular physical activity is essential for your emotional well-being. To get ahead of the winter blues, consider creating routines or new habits from now that involve shorter walks, at-home workouts, or YouTube yoga sessions to keep your body and mind balanced. Connections are a Cure Another thing we lose as the year draws to a close is social opportunities. People need social connections to thrive, even in moderation, to feel encouraged, to laugh and forget their worries, or even for perspective. One way to combat isolation is by scheduling time with the people who pour into you or consider joining some new clubs, organizations, or social groups to help maintain your emotional health. A two-for-one special for me is being a part of Crossfit Seize the Day in LI. It's where I get to work out my stress and find connection with the serious lifters in the room (I'm just hanging out trying to keep this Queen in good condition). Looking Inward and Balancing What We Need As you can see so far, your environment matters when it comes to your mental health, but it's not the only thing. Assessing your internal experiences to protect your mental health is just as important. Depression can sometimes arise when disconnected from your true purpose and passions. Something like 85% of people walk around disconnected from their work. Meaning, it isn't enough. It isn't what they want to do or feel they could be doing more. That can trigger irritability, sadness, frustration, and a loss of motivation- even if you still know how to function and make the job look good. Can you relate? There are a lot of high-functioning, depressed people out there. While obligations may be a part of life, remember your dreams and aspirations. That is a crucial component to avoiding depression that we don't talk enough about. Take a few moments today to ask yourself these questions:

What do you truly want in life? Are you living that out now? How does it make you feel to know that you are not? How are you acting out on that unhappiness? Reconnecting with what excites you about work, your career, or leaning into your purpose could be key to giving your emotional health the boost you are missing. Aligning your actions with your true desires triggers new goal-directed energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose. With that new energy and motivation, it helps to overcome daily stressors and reduces the likelihood of falling into a funk or depression. October is Depression Awareness Month, and it's a great reminder to prioritize your mental health. By being mindful of the external factors affecting your mood and intentionally staying active, connected, and engaged, you can weather the seasonal changes with resilience. Additionally, looking inward and aligning your actions with your passions, purpose, and long-term aspirations can help you reconnect to contentment, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and thriving life. Written by Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, a Licensed Psychotherapist and Mindset Coach for Minority Women in Business. If you are in NY and need a therapist, visit her at If you are a dope woman who wants to elevate her purpose and leverage her professional skills, consider her next upcoming Retreat in NY: Purpose House

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