Tis the Season!

Late Fall and Winter usher in the Holiday Season for many of us. They also introduce the seasonal changes of leaves changing colors, less daylight, and brisk air. These changes are often filled with feelings of cheer, the aroma of fresh apple cider, and the sound of crunching leaves under your feet. Yet, many individuals dread the holidays or feel stressed about grief/ loss, finances, family, and a medley of other issues. However this season greets you, it can be helpful to be prepared with knowledge and fun.

Christmas tree

Knowledge - Feeling sad during the late Fall / Winter may be more than having a bad day. Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] is a condition where one experiences symptoms of depression during the late Fall / Winter. The American Psychological Association [APA] website identified the symptoms as follows: "fatigue, pervasively sad mood, loss of interest, sleep difficulty or excessive sleeping, craving and eating more starches and sweets, weight gain, feelings of hopelessness or despair and thoughts of suicide." APA recommends eating healthy, having time with family and friends, staying active, and seeking professional help (especially if you notice it that you have experienced SAD for two winters).

Fun - The song / book Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a classic. *The author of the book, Robert L. May, experienced substantial stress and possibly depression. He had financial problems, a sick spouse, a young child, and growing medical bills were a few of his stressors. He used his skill and talent to write a story about a reindeer who overcame bullying, unique physical features, and sadness. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer became a huge success! So, What can we learn from this? Be creative, have fun, and look to something old to gain a new perspective on handling stress and being resilient this season.

Millicent McFadden, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, is a Clinical Associate with Family Guidance Centers in our Chesterfield office. She provides individual, child, family, and marital therapy. Dr. McFadden has been in practice for over 7 years. Please contact our office if you are interested in scheduling an appointment.

Sources:
Article - Rudolph the Red-Nosed-Reindeer by Lydia Hutchinson
APA.org