How To Rid Yourself Of The Winter Blues

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The holiday season is finally here, Happy Holidays! For many of us this is the time of year to focus on finishing goals, evaluating progress, and completing quarterly reports. It's also the time of year to spend with friends and family.  It's about spending time together, creating memories, and cherishing those in your life. Christmas decorations go up,  holiday parties are being planned, and dinner menus are being created. What a joyous time!

But what about those that feel the exact opposite? For others it's a very difficult season to go through if spent alone, and away from their loved ones. Others struggle to make it through their first, or yet another Christmas without a certain someone. Depression is at an all time high from November to January. It is often known as the Winter Blues, or Seasonal Depression, but the correct term is Seasonal Affective Disorder.

 

Signs and symptoms which tend to happen around the same time every year are social isolation, loss of interest in certain activities, anxiety, changes in sleep & appetite, and mood swings to name a few. Someone with the Winter Blues may wish they could fast forward through the holidays, or hide under a rock until it's over. I used to be one of those people that hated the holidays, but thankfully my perspective has changed.

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The older I become the more I realize how thankful I should be for what, and who I have.  I should cherish time with my family regardless of what we did or didn't do, or who was or was not there. I've learned to enjoy every moment because life could always be worse. Now although we all love to receive gifts, true joy comes from deeper within. Here are my personal suggestions to making the best of the holiday season.
 

  • Do your best to be supportive to anyone that is struggling with the Winter Blues.

 

  • Create a new tradition to begin doing every year such as going to see Christmas lights, having a get-together the weekend before Christmas, or attending a certain church service.

 

  • Instead of focusing on gifts and monetary items, focus on family and your time together. What moments do you most enjoy when with your family?
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  • Give back, and help someone in need. You can donate old winter clothes to a shelter, participate in your local coat drive, sock drive, or toys for tots.

 

  • Think about what you have to look forward to as the new year approaches. What do you want to achieve, or do in 2017?

 

  • Lastly, take a trip to get away or relax.

 If you think you may struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, I encourage you to do some research, or begin counseling. It's completely normal to feel hesitant about doing so, but asking questions and becoming more educated on the issue will help immensely.