Without seeing aisles filled with brilliant decorations signaling that the holiday season is upon us ou can’t walk into a department store in the Fall. The days become shorter, and the weather gets a lot colder, and there’s a large majority of individuals who are impacted by the change in season in ways that are far less cheerful while many are filled with the holiday spirit. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is an issue that comes up every year, and yet how many of us take time to really check in with ourselves with how seasonal changes may be impacting us? As much attention to getting flu vaccinations as there is paid, there needs to be more focus drawn to how folks can be affected, and what they could do to practice self-care this holidays. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that is often reported between the months of November and October, and for most individuals can feel like depression.
People who experience SAD will likely experience a range of symptoms that can include trouble getting up in the morning and being lethargic through the day at work or at school. While preparing holiday feasts with family and shopping for presents can be anxiety inducing, many find themselves feeling more prone to having much more difficulty in handling anxiety, and feeling irritable and nervous. Much like melancholy SAD is additionally characterized by changes in slumber, a reduced sexual desire, withdrawing from others in isolation, and not being able to appreciate the typical things people find often happiness with during the vacations. A holiday season that emphasizes being joyful with family can be hard to cope with if there is any unresolved problems in our lives. Many see comfort and some craving in foods that are rich in carbs, which may also leave a short feeling of contentment and fullness, and later discouragement from unwanted weight gain to them.
There are several stuff that you can do to address the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:
1. Take a Mental Health Holiday
There can be a lot of pressure during the holidays in purchasing and shopping gifts, traveling and seeing relatives, and putting on a cheerful face for the benefit of others. When individuals work hard to meet with unrealistic expectations and strive, tension and stress can often follow. If any of this sounds familiar to you, then QUIT.
2. Embrace Your Empathy
So frequently we feel swept up in the daily grind of our lives, or trapped by our own challenges during the holidays that we forget about others. Reaching out to someone you know (or even a stranger) with kindness can make a difference to both the person and yourself. Sometimes even a small act of compassion for example calling a family or friend you haven’t seen or talked to in a while can mean a lot more than you realize because we all desire connection. The action of being encouraging and listening can help lift the mood of the giver and the recipient.
3. Give yourself a break from pleasing everyone.
There is always someone in the family who takes on the herculean job of ensuring that everyone else is happy whether it means taking on more than they can handle alone, hosting a holiday dinner, or doing all the Christmas shopping. You will be protected by creating boundaries for how much you can do from being burned out. Let go of the need to make perfect holiday memories with friends and family, and you’ll most likely feel a sense of independence to enjoy things as they are and not get stuck in how you believe they should be.
4. Keep Constant Sleep and Eating.
It is been reported that sleep, which in turn can affect our disposition and ability to take care of pressure can be affected by SAD. It is important to correct our sleep with the seasonal changes , so that individuals can get the sleep they need and enhance their energy level during the day. Vacation dinners generally offer a bevy of guilty pleasures in the kind of other foods, garlic mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie that make our mouths water in craving foods. Individuals in a depressed mood can sometimes eat for comfort and later find that their weight gain only adds to their low mood and prognosis that is negative. Create a balance for yourself by being aware of what you indulge in, and prepare foods that are rich in protein and vegetables. Remember that it is natural to gain some weight during the wintertime.
5. Get More Sun (or Some Glowing Light)
One critical factor of Seasonal Affective Disorder is the lack of light during the winter. While feeling depressed and the wish to hibernate may be in your head, individuals should allow it to be a priority in order to get as much light from the sun as possible to get outside. Spending time outside and in nature can actually help improve your mood and energy level. If you can’t get more sun in your day then look up light therapy, which is an approach used to treat SAD by supplying up to 10,000 LUX of light, which can be a suitable replacement for being outside in the sun. Taking a winter vacation someplace that is brighter and has a climate that is warmer, can also reduce or relieve some of the symptoms of SAD.
6. Develop Your Mental Health Immune System.
Frequently people that experience SAD have been prescribed antidepressant drugs such as Prozac or Zoloft during the beginning of their symptoms in the Autumn, and slowly going off of them by the Spring. The same way we get our flu shot and see our doctor to have a tendency to our physical health, it truly is as important to get a mental health check up.
7. Link with Support
Everyone must feel unconditional acceptance and support. Occasionally individuals close family members, or can locate a sense of belonging and peace of mind through their church, a group of buddies. For some people this holidays, they may need to locate refuge wherever or with whomever may be a safe place or individual to talk our thoughts with,and who can listen to us. Our private safety of connection and support can be anything from a 12 step meeting, place of worship, therapist’s office, or even being in nature. Locate your sanctuary or area of support and take an effective part in your internal healing and peace of mind.
Being proactive about your mental health is significant to how you can work through challenges in life. By talking about SAD individuals can minimize stressful parts of the holidays and the frenzy so that they’ll find hope and create moments of joy. If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms of SAD, then call a mental health professional and discuss what you’re experiencing in your life that could be leading to SAD in your mood and anything.