Recovery Messages & News

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

 The Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a term we hear often, particularly in the north where the winter brings long nights, short days, and minimal opportunities to be outside. What is SAD, really? It is a reaction to a lower amount of sunlight that produces symptoms similar to depression. These can include lack of energy, increased fatigue, increased or decreased appetite, loss of interest in activities, feeling sluggish (particularly in the afternoon), unhappiness, and social withdrawal/isolation. Typically with SAD these symptoms begin in late fall/early winter and will start to subside as the days grow longer in the spring.  

 

It may be difficult to distinguish SAD from other forms of mood disorders, including depression. If you are struggling to identify if you have SAD versus depression, discussing your history and symptoms with a healthcare professional can help.

 

What can you do to manage SAD symptoms? If you are struggling with some (or all) of these symptoms, self-care and a healthy approach to life are key factors to your success. This includes regular exercise, a diet that is rich in vegetables, protein and vitamin D, minimizing caffeine and stimulant intake, regular social contact, and getting as much exposure to sunlight as possible, especially in the morning and early afternoon hours. If this is not possible for you on a regular basis, some people will purchase a light therapy unit for their personal use. Before embarking on this path, however, it is recommended that you discuss this option with your physician, as light therapy has potential side effects and must be used appropriately. In some cases, individuals will use anti-depressant medication to manage their symptoms.

 

If you would like to learn more about SAD, the following resources are available:

 

U.S. National Library of Medicine

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002499/ 

 

Mayo Clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195 

 

You can also contact HUM to speak with a healthcare professional about SAD or other struggles you may be having. We promote health and well-being along biological, psychological, social, and spiritual lines. You can reach us at 403-536-2480. Do not let the winter blues get you down!

 

Paige Abbott, M.Sc., R.Psych.

 

February 24th, 2012


There is still plenty of time to register for our Addiction, Mental Health and Chronic Pain workshop on February 24th!This full day workshop will benefit health care providers, physicials, and those who have been touched by addiction in their own lives. Join us for this full day interactive work shop!

February 24th, 2012 900am – 400pm

$125/person including refreshments and lunch

Contact Chelsea at 403-536-2480 or [email protected] to register.

 

 

Stress Management 

Ways to reduce and cope with stress

 

For many of us, the holidays can be a stressful time. Prolonged stress negatively impacts our physical and mental health so it is important to recognize your sources of stress and find ways to reduce and cope with this stress.

 

Not all stress can be avoided and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed, but you may be surprised by the number of stressors that can be reduced in your life.

 

Ways to reduce stress

 

Learn to say NO – know your boundaries and stick to them.  

 

Spend less time with people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or consider ending the relationship entirely.

 

Alter your environment – if the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic makes you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.

 

Pare down your “TO DO ” list – Review your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

 

Reframe problems – Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.

 

Look at the big picture – Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.

 

Reduce expectations – Work on reducing the expectations for yourself and others as “expectations are premeditated resentments”

Focus on the positive-When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

 

Healthy Ways to cope with stress

 

Journaling – helps you identify the stressors in your life and gives you insight about the way you deal with stress and your patterns of behavior.

 

Express feelings instead of bottling them up – If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.

 

Meditation – the mental focus on nothingness keeps your mind from working overtime which impacts how you cope with stress.

 

Yoga – it combines the practice of several stress management techniques such as breathing, meditation, imagery and movement giving you lots of benefit for the amount of time and energy required.

 

Exercise – exercise in moderation provides a distraction from stressful situations as well as an outlet for frustrations.

 

Music – when dealing with stress, the right music can lower blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind.

 

Sue Newton, RN 

 

 

 

Women’s Group


We now have an official start date for our new Women’s Group! On March 2nd, 2012 it will run between 9:00am aMountain Scenend 11:00am and continue every Friday. Facilitated by Paige Abbott, RPsych and Sue Newton, RN, this group is open to women who have three months of active recovery. If you are interested please call Chelsea at 403-536-2480
or ask any of our associates at your next appointment.

 

 

 

The Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a term we hear often, particularly in the north where the winter brings long nights, short days, and minimal opportunities to be outside. What is SAD, really? It is a reaction to a lower amount of sunlight that produces symptoms similar to depression. These can include lack of energy, increased fatigue, increased or decreased appetite, loss of interest in activities, feeling sluggish (particularly in the afternoon), unhappiness, and social withdrawal/isolation. Typically with SAD these symptoms begin in late fall/early winter and will start to subside as the days grow longer in the spring.  

 

It may be difficult to distinguish SAD from other forms of mood disorders, including depression. If you are struggling to identify if you have SAD versus depression, discussing your history and symptoms with a healthcare professional can help.

 

What can you do to manage SAD symptoms? If you are struggling with some (or all) of these symptoms, self-care and a healthy approach to life are key factors to your success. This includes regular exercise, a diet that is rich in vegetables, protein and vitamin D, minimizing caffeine and stimulant intake, regular social contact, and getting as much exposure to sunlight as possible, especially in the morning and early afternoon hours. If this is not possible for you on a regular basis, some people will purchase a light therapy unit for their personal use. Before embarking on this path, however, it is recommended that you discuss this option with your physician, as light therapy has potential side effects and must be used appropriately. In some cases, individuals will use anti-depressant medication to manage their symptoms.

 

If you would like to learn more about SAD, the following resources are available:

 

U.S. National Library of Medicine

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002499/ 

 

Mayo Clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195 

 

You can also contact HUM to speak with a healthcare professional about SAD or other struggles you may be having. We promote health and well-being along biological, psychological, social, and spiritual lines. You can reach us at 403-536-2480. Do not let the winter blues get you down!

 

Paige Abbott, M.Sc., R.Psych.  

 

As always, please feel free to forward our newsletter to anyone who you think might benefits from our articles or our services. We are continuing to do intakes and accept referrals for addiction, mental health and/or chronic pain clients. 

Sincerely,

 


Chelsea Detheridge
Health Upwardly Mobile Inc

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