I remember the first time the holidays didn't feel quite so merry. It was the year after my uncle died when I was nine. Sure, I remember presents galore, great food, and a lot of smiles, but there was something missing. Not just something, someone. There wasn't the happy-go-lucky guy that used to sneak my sister and I across the street to play on the playground. There wasn't my aunt or my cousin to laugh and play with. There wasn't the vegetarian option that he always required. In other words, there was a hole. Chances are you too have some mixed emotions around holidays and the hole I experienced after my uncle died. Each year brings new changes. Some of those changes are mostly sweet, some are mostly bitter, and some are a mix, but all require some of that tough adjustment I remember so well when I lost my uncle. It seems like holidays bring up those emotions more than any time of year.
Did you know that the holidays aren't the only reason that the fall and winter can be sad? There's actually a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that sometimes causes these feelings to be worse. Simply being away from the sun for too long or not going outside enough is enough to increase your risk of experiencing SAD this fall/winter. Below is an infographic I made to help explain SAD. I hope it will help you prepare for the colder months of the year.
If you or a loved one may be experiencing SAD, talk to your primary care physician today about getting some help. Counseling may also be a good option for you during this season. That's where I can help. Give me a call about some a possible appointment at 405-664-3960.
In the meantime, you may be able to take some preventative steps. Here are a few ideas:
Happy fall! May this fall and winter be less SAD than every before!