Lifestyle

Coping with Winter Blues

How To Stay Out Of The Seasonal Funk

By Adam Lansdell

 

The winter blues, a seasonal funk, seasonal depression – call it what you will, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is real and more common than you think. While winter might evoke the excitement of new beginnings in the year to come or the merriest time of the year for some, for others it tends to be the most difficult season of them all.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, SAD is defined as a type of depression that comes and goes with the season, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during spring and summer. SAD contributes to depressive episodes related with general depression and anxiety as well as being linked to your natural biology’s difficulties regulating serotonin, one of the key neurotransmitters related to mood.

Symptoms to keep an eye out for include those commonly associated with major clinical depression, including daily depression, a sense of hopelessness, low energy, loss of interest in hobbies one might otherwise find enjoyable, difficulties concentrating and frequent thoughts of death or suicide.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms related to SAD, speak with a trusted medical professional immediately. There are many forms of treatment and ways to alleviate these symptoms such as light therapy, psychotherapy, medication and good old-fashioned vitamin D. Many solutions work to provide your body with stimulants associated with sunlight and summer months to stimulate your body’s serotonin production.

Make Time to Show Your Child He or She is Loved

While you’re seeking out ways to help find “me time,” don’t forget that it’s even more important to find “us time.” Make the best of the time you do have by freeing up some of your budget to create a memorable day you and your little one will remember for years to come. Try canceling some of your monthly subscriptions temporarily to make ends meet for a fun-filled day exploring a nature park, a museum or the zoo. Even just a day of spontaneity is bonding time worth spending together.

 

Helping Young Hearts

Helping your teen through their first broken heart

Breakups suck. Be it getting dumped or cutting the cord, ending a relationship is rarely easy. Remember how terrible your first dose of heartbreak was? One day your teen will experience it too. Knowing how to console your adolescent child can be a juggling act. Too much compassion and you might throw salt in the wound. Too little and they may feel alone.

The key is to give them space but be there to listen. Teens might become scornful or disgruntled by your verbal attempts to remedy a broken heart. Letting them know there will be other fish in the sea or that time heals all wounds will bounce right off them. When your child is ready to speak about the situation, it’s best that you show compassion, don’t pick sides and relay the sentiment of the situation to let him or her know you care and that you’re on the child’s side no matter what.

 

 

 

 

SIDE BAR

 

Things to do!

 

Love Notes

 

Putting in effort to show someone you care or are thinking about them is enough to make their day. As always, it’s the thought that counts the most – so why not take a few moments to brighten someone’s day with a quick love letter. Whether it be tucking a note in your child’s lunchbox, sending a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to in far too long or scribbling something sultry on your lover’s mirror in lipstick, it only takes a small effort to show a lot of love.

 

Gifts That Say You Care

 

One way to show that you care is by exhibiting that you listen. Keep your ears peeled for when your significant other casually or passively says he or she likes, wants or needs something and jot it down. After a while, you’ll have compiled a great go-to list for gift-giving that you can pull from whenever you want to show that you’re invested in the things that matter to that individual.

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