The holidays are a time spent with family and friends. We enjoy good food, lots of laughs, and excitement of what the New Year might bring. Along with the holidays comes the stress of preparing meals, picking out gifts, and spending time with that one family member who pushes all our buttons.
During the winter months, we can begin to struggle with motivation to do things we once enjoyed. It becomes darker much earlier and let’s not forget the stress of the holidays. When we experience these symptoms, we feel trapped and can’t wait for future summer days.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be behind those unwanted feelings. Common symptoms of SAD include: difficulty sleeping, weight gain/loss, heightened anxiety/stress, sadness, and lack of motivation. Additionally, it may seem like winter will drag on with no end in sight. However, this does not have to be the case.
There are many ways to manage SAD and get back to feeling like yourself for the holidays. Self-care is an important way to manage these symptoms. Some ideas include exercising for 30 minutes several times a week, eating a healthy balanced diet, and/or daily meditation. Another important way to manage symptoms is getting outside. Yes, you heard me: being outside can improve your mood! If symptoms continue to worsen, therapy and medication are always an option.
This holiday season, surround yourself with friends and family and enjoy these cold months. Find one thing each day that makes you happy. And, remember we are always here to help you!