Well friends, it's that time of year again. The time where most people are jetting away to sunny south or vacationing at a resort of some sort. For some people like me though, it's the time of sadness and depression. I am a sufferer of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. I have struggled with this my whole life, but in more recent years, things have gotten a lot harder for me! About 4 to 6 percent of people may have winter depression. Another 10 to 20 percent may have mild SAD. SAD is four times more common in women than in men. Although some children and teenagers get SAD, it usually doesn't start in people younger than age 20.
A major depression, seasonal or otherwise, is characterized by a series of symptoms:
Symptoms of S.A.D. may include the following:
Today, I'm showing you some of the different techniques or tools that I use, in hopes that some might find some of these things helpful!
First, I am going to get to the "DON'T'S"
DON'T watch too much intense television shows. I like to stay away from all drama, news, scary tv shows as these will bring me down more, and before I know it, I feel worse. DO watch sitcoms, or comedies or sports. I watch A LOT of Sitcoms and Sports. Right now I'm watching Friends and Tennis, but you do you and watch what you like.
DON'T listen to other people! You can't just snap out of it! Or you're just in a funk right now, it will be better next week! See ya peeps.... these people need to seriously research before they open their mouths. Just take a break from them, and if they don't understand, well are they worth your friendship in the first place? Going hand in hand with this, DO go to counselling! Trust me, it helps A TON. Sometimes, it's just helps to have someone understand just what you are going through. These are professionals, and can also guide you on coping mechanisms.
Here's what I do know, I AM NOT a professional, but these things seem to help me a bit, so I'm sharing with you! I also know that you can call The new Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS), by Crisis Services Canada, enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support by phone, in French or English: toll-free 1-833-456-4566 Available 24/7! There are also these numbers available to you.
Crisis Text Line (Powered by Kids Help Phone) Canada Wide
free, 24/7 texting service is accessible immediately to youth anywhere in Canada by texting TALK to 686868 to reach an English speaking Crisis Responder and TEXTO to 686868 to reach a French-speaking Crisis Responder on any text/SMS enabled cell phone.
KidsHelpPhone Ages 20 Years and Under in Canada 1-800-668-6868 (Online or on the Phone)
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness 24/7 Help Line 1-855-242-3310
Canadian Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419
Trans LifeLine – All Ages 1-877-330-6366
As well as the ..
Mental Health Help Line: 1-866-531-2600
Ontario College and University Students 1-866-925-5454
And lastly, go to your emergency room and see a doctor! I was once told by the on call doctor, that "if this place makes you feel safe, then come on up"
Now let's get into some tips and tricks, I find helpful!
The SAD Light or SAD Light Therapy. When people are not getting enough bright light in their days, they often suffer from seasonal or recurring depression. People in a hospital or assisted living facility are especially vulnerable to this. When the brain stops getting bright light, the body clock that regulates sleep/wake cycles becomes confused. It begins to produce the wrong chemicals at the wrong time of day. This has a myriad of negative effects such as: confusion, change in or lack of appetite, lack of energy, memory loss, and many others. Bright light therapy sends a signal to the brain to make the proper chemicals at the proper time of day-resetting the body clock.
Bright light therapy is generally done within the first two hours of waking in the morning. A 30-60 minute daily session is usually ideal, but everyone is slightly different, so trial and error is used to find the ideal duration. The user has the light shining on their face with their eyes open, but is looking elsewhere: reading, watching t.v. , doing a craft etc… The light is placed within the therapeutic range listed as LUX….ie 10,000 lux at 12-14”. Once the session time has been completed, then the light needs to be turned off or turned away from the face of the user, as it is possible to be overexposed.
The lights will not act as a sunlamp and will not burn skin. The LED units are UV free, and the fluorescent units have a cover that blocks more than 89% of the UV rays emitted from the unit. There are lots of different kinds, shapes and sizes of Lights, just do yourself a favor and get one!
I try to eat well. This doesn't always happen, but eating right, makes you feel better. But who doesn't like nice hot big meals in the cold winter months!
Take a break from the hectic and listen to your favourite music! I love listening to great music, it puts me in a good mood! And if you feel like it Journal! Start writing all those things down! Brain dumping is a great way to get rid of stress as well!
Light Reading is an excellent way to free your mind! Notice I said "light" reading!! Here are two books that I am reading now! I have already read the life-changing magic of tidying up, but never hurts to read it again! I tidied up my bedroom last year when I first read this. You can find the post here!
Take your vitamins!! I always take extra vitamin D for the loss of it from NO SUN!
Lather up on Skin Cream! Not only are you doing your skin a favour, but some have great scents too, and pretty smelling things, brings happier thoughts and puts you in a good mood! Here are some that I am using right now!
Something that I really enjoy doing is painting my nails! When I start feeling a bit down, I grab for some bright colours! These remind me that spring is on it's way and helps my mood! I also make sure I don't forget my cuticles with these frigid temperatures!
Clearly, from this picture, I need my nails repainted! Guess what colour I used?
If you guessed the last one you are right!. The first one is Essie's Pink Happy and the one I chose was Essie's Come Here! The cuticle cream is from Burt's Bees and you can find it here!
Putting on my Makeup in the morning always makes me feel better! They say when you look better, you feel better and I believe this! I try every morning to at least do my eyes and add some lipstick!
I love wearing Mac lipsticks! They smell and taste sooo good!
Keeping with the moisture point, I like to make sure my face is really really hydrated! I also take time out in the week to throw on a mask. Here are some of my current go to's!!
And finally, I find it helps me immensely when I'm in a routine or on a schedule! I find if everything is structured, then it seems to keep me on the thin and narrow, as they say! I write everything down in my planner. Everything, from my moods, to when my bills need to be paid etc. This is so I know exactly where I am and where I am suppose to be! I use the Kikki K planner! I found a cute one here! amzn.to/2TO2z8Z
Remember, these are just a few tips that I use to help me through the "Winter Blues"! Remember, there is always help out there and you are not alone! What tricks or tips do you use? And if you read to the bottom of this large post, AND you know what CD I showed you, hit me up with a email, I have a prize for you!!
Until Next time
Cheryl Ann xo