Each year we kick of the holiday stretch in October and it runs through February. Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and Day, and Valentine’s Day consume us all. For some this is a great time of love, laughter, tradition, and creating new memories; while for others it’s filled with dread, anxiety, depression, and grief. Days are shorter and nights are longer, the temperature is cooler, and there is no escaping the visual reminders of the holiday stretch.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that begins in fall and continues through the winter months. SAD symptoms include persistent sadness; loss of interest in things once found pleasurable; fatigue; agitation; changes in appetite and weight; sleep disturbances; feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness; difficulty concentrating; and thoughts of death and suicide for some.
How Can I Treat SAD
There are several ways to combat the symptoms of mild seasonal affective disorder which do not require pharmacological treatment or psychotherapy. Here are 10 tips to get you through the holiday stretch:
1. Acknowledge your feelings
2. Reach out to someone if you feel sad/lonely
3. Have realistic expectations of the holiday season
4. Set aside differences
5. Stick to a budget
6. Plan ahead
7. Say “no”
8. Don’t abandon healthy habits
9. Take advantage of moments to slow down and breathe
If you or someone you know is experiencing seasonal affective disorder and have been unsuccessful with the tips above or with your self-care routine the therapists and nurse practitioners of Premier Counseling are available to assist by offering weekly psychotherapy and prescriptive treatment. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.