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In Need of a Boost?

By Natasha Etherington, Master's Student Therapist Nuway Counselling

 



Are you feeling blue? Want to spend more time on activities that bring you joy?

Do you have a low mood and a lack of energy or pleasure? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is common at this time of year due to a lack of sunlight. The difference in sunlight causes changes in the body clock which can disrupt our hormones and result in a deficit in vitamin D levels.  Did you know that 15% of Canadians experience periods of seasonal affective disorder?

There is treatment for SAD, you do not have to suffer alone.

Unsure whether you are suffering from seasonal affective disorder? Here are some common symptoms:

·      Social withdrawal

·      Irritability

·      Anxiety

·      Low energy, no interest in activities that you once found fun

·      Memory and attention difficulties

·      Sadness nearly every day for more than two weeks

·      Crying nearly every day

·      Sleeping for too long

·      Changes in appetite

·      Have you gained weight?

·      Thoughts of harming yourself

·      Irrational thoughts

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the recommended psychotherapy approach by the Canadian Psychology Association for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.).  CBT offers a series of practical techniques that can help you break down the issues you are facing and formulate a treatment plan to help you manage them. Your counsellor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.  You don’t have to suffer through the winter months as there are a variety of methods to help boost your mood. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps teach new coping skills to increase pleasurable activities, identify negative behaviours that are making you feel worse, manage your stress levels and increase physical activity. Your counsellor can also discuss good sleep guidelines with you such as oversleeping. In addition to psychotherapy, therapists at Nuway Counselling also recommend you to start with additional daily activities, such as exercising regularly; getting outside to be in sunlight (any outdoor light helps even if it is cloudy) and opening curtains and blinds in your house to let light into your home or office. By taking these actions you will immediately (literally) feel brighter. The truth is, dealing with the low mood will feel extra challenging to practice those activities. In order to battle low mood in SAD, the trick is to take it slow and take small bites. For example, if you find doing exercises 7 days in a roll to be too overwhelming, start with once a week for 10 minutes each time. Once your body is activated to get moving,


Our warm and friendly clinical counselling team are here for you both in-person or virtually 7 days a week. Do you have questions? Contact us for a free 20-minute virtual consultation. 

Don’t wait! You deserved to be happy!



Looking for more information?

 

References:

 

Canadian Psychology Association. Dec 31, 2020. Seasonal affective disorder.

 

Mayo Clinic. Dec 14, 2021. Seasonal affective disorder.

 

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