The holidays are over, work has started again and you’re just not feeling it. You’re dragging, reluctant to put down the cookies, put on real clothes and get back to it. It’s dark, it’s dreary, you’re depressed.
You may be experiencing SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a form of depression that customarily hits in the winter months when the days are short and the nights are long. It can be especially hard-hitting at the beginning of the new year when the excitement grinds to a halt and your holiday adrenaline has no place to go. It can range from a mild malaise to feeling downright miserable. Moreover, it can set off triggers threatening your sobriety so conscientiously maintained throughout the holidays. There are techniques and tools available to help you to make it through to the longer days of spring.
It’s important to put yourself in the light, any light. Schedule what you can outdoors when the sun is shining. Open those blinds and let the sun come into your home, sitting by the windows as you eat, journal or meditate. Keep as many lights on as you feel you need to brighten the mood of your home during dark hours.
Focus on the two activities that may have waned over the holidays: eating right and getting plenty of exercise. We all tend to let go and lay back those last 2-3 weeks of the year and the lack of physical activity and a heavier than usual diet can wreak havoc on our psyches. Try to stay away from sweet snacking and dive into protein and veggies. Re-up your workout routine, preferably outdoors in the sunlight. Both will help to lift your mood and get you back to feeling more like yourself.
You can also try using a light therapy box, or SAD box. They simulate sunlight and can up your serotonin levels to improve your mood. (There may be some side effects with its use so check with a medical professional before you start.) There’s also dawn simulators, or wake-up lights. It works on a timer to slowly increase the light in your room, simulating dawn no matter how early you have to wake up. It can help to reset your circadian rhythm and give you a positive start to your day.
SAD can be managed. It’s OK to feel what you’re feeling and you are not alone. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the effects of this syndrome, tempted toward substance misuse or self-harm, it is essential to reach out. Reach out to your therapist, your coach, your community, or a trusted friend. There is help to help get you through.
You can also call 988 – The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This service offers 24/7 free and confidential call, text and chat options for anyone in need of emotional support who is experiencing mental distress. It is also available for anyone worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, The Recovery Coach NY provides individual and family coaching, companions & transport, Intervention and emergency services. For more information and additional services, go to our website:
The Recovery Coach NY has years of experience and a vast array of resources that can help those in need find the path to the life they deserve, filled with joy and purpose. We come with an empathetic ear and solution-oriented actions that can begin to bring the relief you and your loved one seek.
You can reach out to Cindy Feinberg, President of The Recovery Coach NY via:
Phone or text: 631-921-4085
Email: [email protected]
Through her website: www.therecoverycoachny.com