by Ragan Graves, Refuge Center Intern
Often with the new year come refreshed spirits, energetic goals and motivational minds. Unfortunately, January also comes with long days, freezing temperatures and the notable absence of the warm sun. For some, this gloomy weather can negatively affect your mood and body, and you may be experiencing what is known as depressive disorder with seasonal patterns, formerly known as seasonal affective disorder, or “SAD.” It is helpful to know the warning signs and symptoms of SAD, as well as what you can do to manage them.
Warning signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Tendency to oversleep and overeat, especially a craving for carbohydrates
- Difficulty concentrating or completing a task
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities
Managing Your Symptoms:
- Stick to you treatment plan
- medication, psychotherapy, appointments etc.
- Take care of yourself
- Rest and relaxation
- Exercise and physical activity
- Healthy eating habits
- Practice stress management
- Learn techniques to manage your stress better
- Make an effort to connect with people you enjoy being around
- Take a trip
- If possible, take winter trips to warm sunny places if you experience winter SAD, or take trips to cooler locations if you experience summer SAD
If you are experiencing the winter blues or just need a little extra support, know that you are not alone. There is hope and sunnier days ahead. The counselors at The Refuge Center for Counseling are here to walk with you through any obstacles that you may be facing. Visit us at www.therefugecenter.org or call us at 615.591.5262.