December 20, 2023

Working through “Winter Blues”

By Fallyn Lara
Anxiety & Depression
Mental Health & Wellbeing

Wintertime in the Midwest usually comes with snowmen, holidays, and “cheer.” However, this time can also come with a lack of sunlight and a mixture of light and heavy emotions. It is during the winter that some can experience what we call “seasonal affective disorder,” or SAD for short.

SAD can make it challenging to get motivated, and often, it very similarly resembles aspects of depression. More often, those with SAD have a loss of energy, a change in sleep patterns, and a loss of interest in doing activities that once were appealing.

Did you know about 5% of adults in the United States suffer from this? Even if you do not check all of the categories, it may be worth learning about behavioral activation to help lessen the impact.

Behavioral Activation Helps

When finding yourself in a low mood, you can often repeat cycles that keep you in that state. An example is when you feel sad, you stay in bed all day and think about how things will never get better and continue to feel sad and stay in bed. Thus, the cycle continues.

What if we could find a way to disrupt that cycle with the hope of changing it to something more productive and helpful overall?

That is where behavioral activation comes in. Essentially, this is where you plan different activities in your day intentionally to break up the patterns you find yourself in.

Categories to Consider

  • Exercise: walking, weightlifting, Class Pass for indoor gym classes
  • Socializing: go to the movies with friends, call a friend, or organize a group dinner
  • Responsibilities: cleaning, homework
  • Hobbies: drawing, playing with a pet, trying a new recipe
  • Personal care: schedule a massage, get a haircut, prayer

Accountability and Therapy

As you activate in one or all of these categories, the hope is that you will find a new cycle that can sustain the winter months. The more intention during these months and safeguards, the better it can be to prepare.

If you find yourself relating to the initial aspects of SAD or depressive symptoms and desire to better prepare for this time of the year, I encourage you to request an appointment today. I would love to meet you!


Written By

Fallyn Lara

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