Friday, January 17, 2014

When the Sun Goes Down



Symptoms of depression can increase as the hours of sunlight decrease.  Many people who do not struggle with depression at other times of the year experience low energy, sleeping longer hours, eating too much or too little, and/or feelings of hopelessness.  If this resonates with you these suggestions could be helpful; if you don’t want this to resonate with you...these suggestions could be helpful.

COMBATING S.A.D.

GET TO KNOW YOURSELF - typically there is a catalyst for thoughts and emotions.  It is helpful to just notice.  Maybe January 1st is when you start feeling down, maybe you’d rather spend Valentine’s Day in bed, maybe the month of March is when you usually use food as a coping strategy.  Use this insight and plan ahead.

HAVE FUN - plan activities that are fun for the winter months (this does not mean expensive travel, they can be simple - camping, going to stay with a friend for the weekend, going out to dinner with a friend)

SHARE WITH OTHERS - open up to trusted friends about your decreased energy and mood in the winter months.  You will be surprised how many share this seasonal slump, and gaining support from others is helpful.  A friend who understands can come over and have hot cocoa, and won’t push you to go out dancing and be disappointed when you're not up for it.  

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - allow yourself to hibernate some if that is what your mind and body is needing.  Rest is important if it makes you feel good; if you feel worse then push yourself to go outside and get fresh air.  This does not mean keeping up an intense workout schedule - going for a winter walk a few times a week (even if you live in an extremely cold climate) will make you feel better than you may realize.



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