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Tips for Getting Rid of Seasonal Depression

How do I get rid of seasonal depression? I fall into a funk as soon as the weather gets warmer, and I should be happy.

—Warm Weather Blues, New York, NY



First, please try to avoid the "tyranny of the shoulds," a concept first described by German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. When you say that you "should" be or do something, you're focusing on an ideal version of yourself that doesn't measure up to reality. Instead, concentrate on working toward your goal realistically, not berating yourself for not achieving it yet.

But is it true that the warmer weather can get you down? For some people, yes. Many of those who live in the northern hemisphere feel their best during springtime, as the added daylight stimulates a heady cocktail of hormones. But for others, serotonin, the "happiness hormone," can become depleted during the winter months. That means by the time the weather improves, they might experience symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, headaches, achy joints, lack of drive and irritability.

If this sounds like you, try these tips: Make a point to connect with friends and, if needed, reach out for professional help. Eat a balanced diet (reducing any nicotine, alcohol and caffeine consumption), stay sufficiently hydrated, and practice good sleep habits in a cool, dark room away from stimulating activities. Outside of dance, make time for hobbies that enrich you while relieving stress.

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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