Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in the seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue through the winter.
If you are a mom and experiencing SAD it can be a very difficult time of year. Trying to keep your family on a schedule when you don’t feel like going anywhere can be a struggle. Participating in cheerful holiday activities when you don’t feel very cheerful can be a challenge.
Some of the symptoms of SAD include:
Don’t brush off your feelings or minimize them if you are struggling with symptoms and/or if those symptoms are affecting your work performance or relationships.
1. Keep your expectations realistic
Don’t let your hopes for perfection spoil your spirit. Ask yourself processing questions when feeling overwhelmed. What can I accomplish today? What am I feeling today?
2. Practice wellness
A daily routine of at least 7 hours of sleep, a 30-minute exercise routine and limiting your alcohol intake can go a long way in fighting the blues.
3. Stand in the sun
Taking a break for at least 15-30 minutes of sunlight, especially in the early morning, helps to regulate your internal clock.
4. Cultivate some winter hobbies
The chilly weather may freeze your weekend gardening plans but it may be the best time to catch up on your reading list or tackle a new project in the house. Adjust your leisure activities to fit the seasons.
5. Keep the structure in your family schedule
If the children are involved in sports or church activities, try to maintain those activities as much as possible. Sometimes pushing through to go to regular scheduled events can help reduce SAD symptoms.
6. Prepare in advance
Cook meals you can plan in advance and may last multiple days, such as casseroles or crockpot meals. Do the laundry and set out clothing in sets of outfits for the week. If you have a spouse or partner these are good activities to plan together.
Lastly, seek professional help if you feel that your symptoms are persistent. Talk to your primary care provider or find a therapist in your community.
Nicole is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor with over 20 years experience helping adults and children with overcoming trauma, managing life transitions, and developing coping skills. She is specialized in working with anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions, and developing effective parenting skills with women and children with trauma concerns, anxiety and depression. Nicole provides a caring, non-judgmental mental health service for children (5-12), adolescents (13-18), and adults (18+) where she draws techniques from a variety of therapy models depending on the client’s needs. Nicole most often uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Client Centered treatment the most. She is founder of Transformation Counseling & Consulting, PLLC where she sees clients.
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