Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Therapy To Help With Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression is a real thing! It is a time when the nights are drawing in and it's getting darker at such an early time. We are approaching Christmas where we start to miss loved ones that are no longer here. The dark days and nights combined with the stress of Christmas can feel like a real battle to get out of bed in the mornings. I know because it is often a real battle to get up and go to work or do simple things. It's a struggle to smile and carry on but we have to remember that although the days may seem long and dark, its only a short time in the grand scale of life. So today are some tips to help you combat SAD (Season affective disorder).
Here are some symptoms of SAD, maybe you know someone going through this and want to help them, or maybe you're reading this and you are not sure what is wrong. I am here to help.


Being in a persistent low mood.
Having a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities, this could be a friend that keeps cancelling on you.
Irritability (raising my hand to this one!)
Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness, I always start to feel guilty at Christmas because I start to think about the daughter.
Feeling tired and sleepy during the day.
Sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning.


Get out in the light

I know that it is still going to be grim and probably cold and damp out there but its so much better than being indoors. Going outside means that you will get to meet friends and family. You see different things than you would do if you were stuck at home. When the sun shines through the clouds, it releases serotonin and that lifts your mood, appetite and will make you feel less tired. Going outside will also improve your vitamin D intake, even if it's for a few minutes a day. If you can't get outside, then use a winter SAD light, this gives you daylight in your house and can instantly make you feel better. 

Take up a hobby

If we start a hobby, it always takes our mind off what is wrong with us. Giving us something to look forward to. When you take up a new hobby for the winter or start going to a group that will help with your hobby, you get to meet different people and suddenly you find a new zest for life. 

Therapy 

I have had therapy before to help to deal with my depression, and it really does work. It's good to have someone to speak honestly with, someone that you can trust and someone who can look at your situation from a different perspective. It's easier than ever to find someone local that can help you with finding a therapist and you don't have to wait to get a medical referral either. A therapist can help you to find a way to deal with your seasonal depression and will teach you ways to cope with the feelings that you are having. This is something that you can take away with you and will be with you for the rest of your life. Going to see a therapist will help you to see things from a different perspective and as the therapist helps you to find yourself again through the sessions, it will eventually help you to see other people in a more positive scale. There have been so many times that I have seen other people in a negative way, yet by finding myself and understanding how and why I feel depressed, it is helping me to understand why people are different to me too. 

Watch what you eat

 Are you like me and reach for the chocolate when you feel down and depressed? STOP! although this makes you feel better for a few minutes, it won't make you feel better for long and if you keep eating chocolate, then you are going to gain weight, which will make you feel worse in the long run. If you feel down, pick at grapes or cherry tomatoes instead. This winter I have started to eat healthier and as well as losing 2 stones in weight, I feel more enthusiasm for life and I am ready to fight the winter blues. 

Keep in touch

I know that the last thing you want to do is speak to someone, but it really does help to pick up the phone and chat with a friend or a member of the family. Last week a friend asked me to lunch and although I struggled to find the effort to go out and be with people - I did it. You know what? I felt so much better for being with my friend. She knows I suffer from depression and I am sure that if your friends know this too, they will want to help you. As it happens I had the loveliest afternoon out with my friend and I don't know if she realises how much of a difference she made to how I was feeling. If you have a friend that you haven't heard from in a few days - pick up the phone and check how they are. If you can't phone someone and talk, you can always Whatsapp, message or even email your friends for a chat, sometimes it is easier to write than it is to speak. You can also read other experiences about SAD online and realise you're not alone, Mrs MummyPenny Talks about her experience on her blog


Exercise 

I am not talking about joining a gym, but just dancing around the house. Crank that music up loud, get dancing whilst you do the housework. It will make you feel so much better in yourself, you will feel more positive because singing and dancing always makes us feel good. If you feel up to it, go for a run or a cycle on your bike. Even doing the hoovering will help you to get some exercise in. I do the school run twice a day (when I'm not working) and I actually look forward to doing this because it gets me outside in the light and it is a good exercise for me. Plus I have the added bonus of seeing my kid!



Depression in the winter can be a very lonely place to be, but it doesn't need to be. I get in bed every night and I think to myself 'I smashed it again today'. You don't need to be lonely and you don't need to suffer unnecessarily. Please find me on Facebook and drop me a message.  

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12 comments:

  1. Great advice. I find getting out for a walk really helps when I'm low!

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  2. This is an interesting insight into seasonal depression and I'm sure it will help lots of people. It must be so daunting knowing that when the winter comes your mood is affected!

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  3. I love your tips here. Getting out and about definitely helps.

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  4. My mummy usually gets seasonal depression in January with the feeling of being overwhelmed with resolutions, dreary days and nothing really to look forward too - this times she's booking a holiday to lift her spirits

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  5. Really important post and so many fab tips. Especially about getting a hobby and what you eat is super important xx

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  6. I suffer from SAD - I have a natural lamp which I find really helps. Christmas is difficult - it's my second one without my mum and a few years ago it was on Christmas Eve that she was diagnosed with cancer (which ultimately killed her). You have to work through it though, for the children x

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  7. I have had depression for 24 years now but it is definitely worse through the winter. I have a light box and have regular CBT sessions in winter to keep on top of it.

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  8. I actually suffer with SAD and these are some really good tips :) the sad lights are brilliant

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  9. I really struggle at this time of year. I do find getting outside, especially on sunny days and having a good walk really helps lift my mood

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  10. This is a really helpful post. Christmas can become so stressful as an adult, and I think everyone gets stressed or down at some point. Putting on music and dancing around the house is my favorite tip, I do that all the time and it really does make me feel better!

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  11. I think a lot of people turn to food for comfort when it is exercise that works best. I have set myself a step target to ensure I get fresh air and exercise

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  12. These are some really good tips and I know I always start to feel low around this time of the year. I grew up in South Africa and have always struggled with the winters in Wales since I moved over 10yrs ago. I think Therapy can be a really positive thing as well

    Laura x

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