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Midwinter Slump

The winter is here and for many the crisp air, and white snow can be inspiring. But depending on what other things you may have going on in your life it might not be the best time of year.

Winter is when the days are shortest and NE Ohio is, in general, a cloudier region than other places in the US. It's a challenge for so many - and even results in SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, where during those shorter days folks find themselves struggling with levels of depression they don't experience during periods of longer daylight. We have to work harder to get Vitamin D that is generally absorbed through sun exposure. When the days are short and nights are long, this is even more of a challenge.

To manage during this (literally) dark time of year, we have a few tips (As with any suggestions, please consult your doctor prior to making health changes!) :

  • Try light therapy - Searching the internet can turn up different small lightbox options. These lightboxes emit UV rays, which is why it's important to follow the directions, that help us absorb vitamin D.

  • Embrace Hygge - This is a Norwegian/Danish concept of making things cozy and comfortable. Essentially, it's giving yourself active permission to slow down, have a cup of cocoa, snuggle into a blanket and read, nap, or watch a movie.

  • Connect - It's easier to connect in the summer months because activities are often outdoors, the daylight seems to last forever and family reunions abound. But the connection doesn't have to be a big event, it can be as simple as texting a friend, making a phone call, or chatting online. Connections help us feel seen and heard and often provide the support we need when we're down.

  • Schedule self-care - Nowadays, self-care seems to look like a spa day to many folks (which is great if that works for you) but self-care is actually whatever you need to do to keep yourself going. Sometimes, this means scheduling time or making a list of hygiene tasks, or chores that need to be done, or paying bills.

  • Improve Sleep Hygiene - Working on achieving a steady schedule of sleep and wake times can help improve your mood and clarity during the day. Basic sleep tips include prior to bedtime: limiting the use of electronics, taking a warm shower/bath, using relaxation skills to help with falling asleep. You may also want to talk to your doctor about a sleep study if you're really struggling.

  • Treat Yourself - In a similar vein to self-care, a little extra pampering can help ease those wintertime blues. Call us to schedule a massage therapy or reiki session for some relaxation time: 234-466-6274.

  • Talk to someone - Sometimes it's more than feeling a little blue. If you've been experiencing feelings of sadness, worthlessness, weight gain or loss, irritability for two weeks or more, it may be time to talk to a professional. We are here to help. Please call 234-466-6274 to schedule with one of our mental health counselors.

With these tips, the winter can be more pleasant!


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