Foto: jplenio/pixabay.com

Dark Week: November Depression Week

The Corona aftermath and the autumn darkness are stressful for everyone. That's why it's important to take precautions now. With our "Dark Night" and the "Dark Week" theme week, you get a programme and information about how to take precautions for your health and to encounter depressive moods better.

Foto: Couleur / Pixabay

Foto: Couleur / Pixabay

Dark Week: 25 Nov - 03 Dec 2021

What is the "November Depression Week"?

The Dark Week is a themed week to better encounter and prevent depressive moods. The Dark Week starts with the kick-off event "Dark Night", followed by a week of workshops. We provide also videos and tips (on this website).

With the Dark Week offer, we want to shed light on the difficulties that Corona has left behind. But also the health challenges that start anew for many every winter and that some struggle with again and again. Together we want to look at how we can implement a good and healthy new start now. Because: You are not alone with depressive and anxious moods. Many people feel this way!

We have listed the programme and helpful information and addresses here. In addition, you can watch many tutorials on the topic of well-being and videos with exercises for body and mental health here and on our YouTube channel. The "Dark Week" is a joint offer of the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling Centre (PBS) and the Office for Culture & International Affairs (BKI) of the studierendenWERK BERLIN.

We are happy to be there for you and wish you: Let there be light!

Programme Dark Week 25 Nov - 03 Dec 2021 (changes still possible)

Dark Night - Gala of November Depression - Kick-off event on site at FREIRAUM with 2 G.

Dark Night is a mix of stage program and workshops, with the workshops taking center stage. There will also be free soul food!

Click here for more info and registration.

In a protected setting, we can talk - in persona - about challenges and aftermath of the lock down or restricted lock down period.

  • On-site workshop with 2 G. Language: German;
  • Direction: M.A.-Psych. Stefanie Scholz
  • Location: Hardenbergstr. 34

More info and registration

You find it hard to relax and be in the moment once there is silence around you? But you can't meditate because your "mind is always wandering”? This group includes yoga elements, for which you don't need any previous experience but an openness to try.

  • Workshop on site with 2 G. Language: English
  • Direction: M.A.-Psych. Stella Schreiber
  • Location: Hardenbergstr. 34

More info and registration

 

In therapeutic writing, we deal with the problems and challenges of our everyday lives and reflect on how we deal with them. Then, in creative writing, we aim to gain some distance from the things that drag us down and loosen up through writing.

  • Workshop online via Webex
  • Direction: Bianca Othmann

More info and registration

In the movement and participation workshop you can activate your own body with simple exercises, rediscover and balance stress as well as prevent it.

  • Workshop on site - 2 G
  • Location: Hardenbergstr. 35

Here you can find more information and the possibility to register.

You have often been a bit nervous before when you had to say something in front of a group? In a protected setting and in a manageable group we want to train again in small exercises to say something in front of others.

  • Workshop on site with 2 G. Language: German, but English may also be spoken during the exercises;
  • Location: Hardenbergstr. 34.
  • Direction: Dipl-Psych. Irina Theisen

More info and registration.

Kick-off event "Dark Night - Gala of November Depression" on 25 Nov 2021

The universities were online for three semesters. And now you're supposed to start again.... But maybe you feel overwhelmed? And then winter is coming and you don't know anyone? With Dark Night, which kicks off Dark Week, we want to shed light on the difficulties Corona has left behind. But also the health challenges that start new every winter for many. The Dark Night is a mix of stage programme and workshops. Click here to find more information.

 

Foto: J. Urban / stW BERLIN. Dark Night 2019

Get connected! Exchange, comfort each other. But also: laugh and celebrate together. We provide the inputs. You determine the togetherness. It's your Dark Week!

In 2019, the November Depression Gala took place for the first time and with great success as a live format. 2020 was the 1st Digital Dark Weeks Festival for Corona and Winter Depression, which took place entirely online. The videos on this page were created as part of the digital festival.

Adresses and links 

The Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling (PBS) of the studierendenWERK BERLIN helps with acute crises. Information and the possibility to make an appointment can be found here. A compilation of further links to helpful organisations and self-help can also be found on the PBS page. In acute crises, the Berlin Crisis Service can be reached around the clock at +49(0)30 390 63 00.

Feel good - tips & links

Exercise, light, fresh air and nutrition positively activate the body and the mind and help to prevent or alleviate moods.

In winter, for example, it is best to go out at the brightest time of day (noon) and go jogging or cycling. Or at least go for a walk around the block. And then treat yourself with a hot shower in the evening, for example. But doing activities with others can also be helpful. If you have difficulties with this, you can come to our counselling centres or visit our events and meet people there. 

Tips for outdoor activities in the city: Why not visit Berlin Zoo in the west or Tierpark Berlin in the east and just watch the animals, preferably without thinking about anything else. There are also several gardens in Berlin that charge a small entrance fee and are often less crowded than parks:  

Cycling and walking is possible at any time of year. The Berlin Wall bike tour is ideal for cycling - the former Wall strip takes you around the city through a variety of landscapes. Brandenburg is a hiker's paradise, but there are also hiking opportunities in Berlin itself.

Light generally helps to stay healthy and also to feel good. There are various reasons for this. Among other things, light regulates the melantonin-serotonin level. Sunlight also creates vitamin D in our bodies, which is almost impossible to absorb through food. Being out in the fresh air and at the brightest time of day is therefore good for all people, even those who do not have depressive moods. For them, however, it can play a crucial part in curing or alleviating depressive moods, depending on the severity of the mood. 

Seasonal depression is a subtype of depression that occurs particularly when there is a lack of light in more northern areas during the winter. Those affected by seasonal depression in particular benefit from a daylight lamp. However, this should only be used when those affected can no longer get outside. Otherwise, it is even better to fill up on light outside, even on winter days, quotes the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland from the head of the Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe (German Depression Aid Foundation) as saying.

 

Nutrition also plays a major role for the mental health. After all, body and mind are one. It has been shown to be particularly recommendable in cases of depression or depressive moods to avoid sugar and fast carbohydrates, especially soft drinks, or to consume them in moderation, as the Federal Centre for Nutrition also writes. On the other hand, foods such as nuts, dark chocolate, fish (from sustainable fisheries and without mercury pollution) are recommended, also for depressive moods. There are numerous articles on this on the internet. Daily vegetables, fruit, vegetable protein such as lentils and good vegetable fats are also important components of a healthy diet.

However, one should also be careful not to put new constraints on oneself with their diet. After all, it's about feeling good overall. If nutrition degenerates into stress, this is also not good for depressive moods. So if you eat a varied and seasonal diet, lots of vegetables and healthy vegetable fats, that's enough. And a little rice pudding with cinnamon is soul food, too, and will definitely help you wind down from the day on the couch in the evening. And when you feel up to it again:  slowly and together eatingwith others and exchanging ideas also promotes health! The Mediterranean countries show how it's done! 

If you have a depressive mood, you usually can't pull yourself together. This has nothing to do with discipline, but is simply a symptom of this phase. You should not blame yourself for this. Nevertheless, as soon as it is possible again, it is a good idea to start slowly with activities and to meet with others. It is often difficult to maintain or build friendships during a depressive mood. You are not alone. Many people feel this way. And even people without depressive moods sometimes find it difficult to approach others, especially in the anonymity of the big city.

In any case, the studierendenWERK BERLIN has offers that you can take advantage of to get to know other students or other people who are affected. For example, during depressive moods or as a preventative measure and as an exchange, there are group offers from the Psychological Counselling Service. If you want to meet other people in general, then feel welcome to come to our cultural events and excursions, which are always listed in our event calendar. Or you can get to know students who are often looking for new acquaintances themselves at the events in our Get together category. 

And if you just don't feel like seeing anyone? Then don't put yourself under pressure. Start slowly. And try to put the focus back on positive things: Listening to music, reading a book, taking a bath, painting a picture, planting a flower...sometimes small things help better than big plans. 

Blogs on the topic

In the meantime, there are numerous bloggers who openly deal with the topic of depression, often in a constructive and funny way. An overview of various blogs can be found here

Breathing relaxation

At the centre of the breathing relaxation exercise is counting and breathing deeply in and out at the same time. Ms Birgit Rominger from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling shows the exercise. 

The inner safe space

The inner safe space is a stabilisation and resource exercise from trauma therapy that can also be used in everyday life. The exercise is shown by Tiago from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling.  

Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is an easy-to-learn and effective relaxation method. Anke Reinke from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling of the STWB shows it in this short video. 

Body Scan

Bodyscan helps to become aware of one's own body, supports relaxation and can help to better deal with functional physical complaints. Mr. Kai-Uwe Ehlers from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling presents the exercise. 

Soul Food with the Mensa

Food is important for the soul. But only if it tastes good. MENSA shows us how to make roasted almonds. A snack you should enjoy in moderation because of the sugar. But at least almonds are also good for depression! Here's the recipe as a blog post.

Depression und Literature

Our student writer-in-residence 2020, Dana Vowinckel, wrote texts about Berlin and her life here every month as part of our writers-in-residence programme Berlin Stories. In winter, she also wrote many texts in which depression plays a role. Sometimes incredibly funny, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes sober. Have a read!