Seasonal Affective Disorder is estimated to affect 10 million Americans. S.A.D. can be triggered by fewer daylight hours, colder temperatures, and weak daylight. Many of the symptoms of S.A.D. are the same as those found in clinical depression. They include a low mood, loss of interest in activities, and fatigue. S.A.D. is unique because it follows a seasonal pattern.
Another difference in people experiencing S.A.D. is the tendency to eat more and sleep less, which can lead to increased levels of stress and weight gain, which may contribute to other forms of depression. S.A.D. involves the body, mood, and thoughts and can interfere with daily life. Symptoms may last for weeks, or months, and can make other depression symptoms worse.
If you are experiencing depression symptoms that interfere with your ability to function, or if you just do not feel like yourself, reach out for help. Make an appointment with your health care provider or mental health clinician. And please, if you have thoughts of hurting yourself, Call 911, or the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Brighten Things Up - Thirty minutes of light per day can lighten your mood and relieve symptoms.
Eat - Give your body a boost by adding two pieces of fruit or vegetable to what you normally eat every day. The healthy foods will help to keep your body fueled and give you a feeling of overall health.
Get outside - Spending time outside, even when it’s chilly, can improve your focus, reduce symptoms of S.A.D., and lower your stress levels.
Breathe - Push your stomach (abdominal) muscles out. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs all the way up. Hold the breath for just a moment, then exhale slowly. These deep breaths help the body to relax and recharge.
Hypnotic Tools - “Rinsing” - This exercise uses waking hypnosis to help clear negative thoughts out of the mind. Start breathing in a nice, steady rhythm. As you focus on your breathing, let your mind begin to wander to whatever comes to mind. Don’t try to edit or control the thoughts, just let them happen. Next, imagine a gentle stream, a waterfall, or a shower. Imagine the water moving through your mind, rinsing your thoughts away. You can even imagine watching your thoughts rinse off of you and down the stream, or down the drain. If you find your mind wandering too far, bring your focus back to your breathing, then back to the water. Practice this for at least ten minutes each day.◼
Karen Gray is a Certified Professional Hypnotist, a Certified Hypnosis Instructor, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, contact Karen at email@example.com, or (802) 566-0464.
Use this link to get a free 15 minute hypnosis audio for stress relief.