With Halloween in the rearview mirror, I have already started hearing commercials for Christmas, and my mother asked me just this morning to help her put up the tree after we get done for Thanksgiving.
When she asked me, it shocked me. It feels like it was just the other day that I dragged her fake tree out of the garage and struggled to figure out how to put all the pieces together. I'm not sure if you are like me, but I have gotten to the age where I have mixed emotions regarding this time of year. Gone are the days of everyone getting together at my grandmother's house and me pretending to be asleep when my parents sneak up in the middle of the night to play Santa Claus.
It's Not all Stockings and Cheer
My kids have reached an age where they are far more concerned with how much time they will spend with family and away from their friends. I find myself saying those old people things like, "I remember when I was your age.." This time of year is also a reminder of the people who are no longer around to celebrate. Combined with seasonal onset depression and the news giving a constant stream of chaos, it's no wonder I have seen an increase in people coming in with greater levels of depression this year. So what do we do when we get down and out during a time designed for celebration?
Wellness List (Check it Twice)
I believe the first step needs to be a little self-compassion. I realize that many people read this and think I am making them say affirmations in the mirror each morning. That is fine if that's what you want to do, but I am talking about accepting that you are probably tired, stressed, and sad. That this will pass and that you are not alone. We still live in a world where we are expected to push all those emotions away, store them, and hope they go away. Have people you trust to talk about those emotions with, even if just to vent.
Second, move around a little more. I know that sometimes that can seem very difficult, but a walk around the park, even for a few minutes, can clear your head and make you feel better. Get as much sunlight in the morning as possible.
Winter months mean less Vitamin D available for our bodies. Less Vitamin D means a greater chance of sleep disturbances as well as an increase in symptoms of depression. The last suggestion is to step away from social media as much as possible. Social media apps, push notifications, and the news is designed to grab our attention and keep it. When was the last time you watched good news on TV, didn't feel like you were in comparison when on Tic Toc, or followed the link on that push notification? We're happy you did. We are a product of our environment. So be careful what you are filling your mind with.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we are ready and willing to help out this Holiday. Please reach out; you are not alone.
Learn more about the Depression Therapy services we offer.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.