Changing of the seasons can often mean a changing of the mood. Many people claim they have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a depression brought about by too little exposure to sunlight. There is actually a fair bit of research around this topic, as there is a higher rate of population depression in countries where there are fewer hours of sunlight oerall, and the theory to date is that it may have something to do with vitamin D levels, which are enhanced by expoure to the sun. Whatever the case may be, however, people typically experience some type of reaction to the change of the seasons, andoften dread moving into a long, cold winter. There are many ways to combat this issue, including taling regularly with a therapist or someone else you trust, to even investing in a sun lamp that will help expose you to healthy ultraviolet rays during times when you cannot get enough sun. These are relatively inexpensive (usually under $200) and can often be a boon for those really suffering from SAD. For the rest of us, who may simply be a little blue because of the beginning of school, the loss of the warm weather, or the fear of monster snowstorms, make sure that ouy stay connected with the outside world, try to take a nice sun vacation in the middle of the winter if you can manage, and keep doing all of the other things that make you feel healthy and well, such as eating well and exercising regularly.
Well, for those you who made it through the Holidays, Round 1, congratulations! You now only have Round 2 to contend with, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, or any other holiday I may have missed. Round 2 gets even more intense – there’s a build-up to the holidays as there is pressure to shop for others amidst a pretty tight economy while also still ensuring that you have a Merry, Happy, Peaceful, or what have you. The important thing to remember is balance – if you feel like your life is tilted totally in one direction, you’re going to feel very unbalanced. So if you’re completely stressed about buying gifts for everyone at the last minute, you’re still going to be thinking about this until you get to the last minute, which is quite unbalancing. If you’re more concerned with just trying to enjoy the holidays during such a tough economic downturn, there are lots of resources out there to help you cope with tighter budgets, and it seems like this is a pretty big media focus this holiday season. Finally, there’s family, again, to contend with. Remember that as nice as it is to be with family this time of year, it can also be overwhelming and stressful, and you have to manage that appropriately. Or it is quite possible that you are dealing with the opposite family issue, either being away from your loved ones or even dealing with the loss of a loved one at this time of year. In any of these situations it is appropriate to feel and talk about the emotions you are experiencing, and actually attending to them will make it easier to deal with this time of year in the long run. I hope you all have a good holiday season, and if anyone has a question they would like me to answer, please send me an email!