Do you seem sad during the winter months? Do you sleep longer, or are you visited by lonely thoughts more often? Keeping your head above water during the winter months can be a struggle, especially for those who are impacted by seasonal affective disorder (and especially during a global pandemic), but there are ways to surmount it and live a fulfilled life.
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What is SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD) is a type of depression that is generally associated with the passing of the seasons, and most particularly the winter months. Reduced light, less access to vitamin D, fewer opportunities to get outside and enjoy fresh air — these are all potential reasons that it just feels more gloomy for some folks during this time of year.
There is science behind that gloom. Medical researchers hypothesize that this disorder has to do with decreased amounts of serotonin (a brain chemical that affects your mood) and higher amounts of melatonin (which regulates sleep). Around 1 to 2 percent of people have been diagnosed with SAD, whereas 10 to 20 percent of people experience a milder form of the “winter blues.” This year, amid the global pandemic, more people may become susceptible to SAD, as there was plenty to be stressed about before the cold set in. Now that all of these stressors are coming together, it might serve you a particularly negative cocktail of brain chemicals.
There are a few ways to tell if you or your close friends are suffering from the changing of the seasons. An increased level of anxiety, mood shifts, generally gloomy feeling, and sleeping more are all signs of depression — but SAD occurs like clockwork around the colder, darker months. Pay attention to your thoughts, your feelings, and those of the people around you.
Fighting back against seasonal depression can be a daunting task, but it’s possible when you focus on yourself and observe some self-care practices you may have been neglecting. For instance, get some sunlight. One of the proven symptoms of SAD is the lack of serotonin in your brain, and the sun helps you build that particular chemical, as well as vitamin D levels, and can help you stave off depression. Open your blinds and let the winter sun into your room. Or, turn to technology and invest in a lightbox specifically designed to treat the symptoms of SAD.
Another way you can stave off feelings of anxiety is by cleaning your home. Yes, cleaning. When family members are being negative or critical, or when you are experiencing unwanted tension, decluttering a messy space and cleaning can inject positivity into your home.
Hypnosis like the kind used by mindset coach Don L. Price can also be a powerful tool to help you re-focus on yourself and your own needs. It has been shown to improve self-confidence, relaxation, and motivation and can be helpful in controlling anxiety. Hypnotherapy, as a result, along with mindset coaching, can be an important way to fight seasonal depression and regain control of your emotions. Mindset coaching in particular can help you get into the right headspace to expel self-doubt and negative feelings.
Are you ready to take control of your anxiety, stave off seasonal affective disorder, and feel calmer in your everyday life? Hypnotherapy may be the right course of action for you. Contact celebrated hypnotherapist and mental health coach Don L. Price for more information today!