November 29, 2021

Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Blues) By: HOC Behavioral Health Specialist Joe Hoelscher

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also commonly referred to as the “Winter Blues”, is real and affects many people during the long winter months. SAD can negatively impact a person’s mental health and have long-lasting effects even into spring and summer. Symptoms a person feels often replicate and/or are similar to Major Depressive Disorder. These symptoms may include a lack of enjoyment in activities, the urge or need to isolate, increased mood swings (increased irritability) and a general loss of overall motivation. Others may experience an increased desire to sleep resulting in loss of a regular routine. During the pandemic, these symptoms can have an even great impact due to isolation and social distancing recommendations.

The following are helpful tips on how to beat SAD and take care of your mental health this winter:

– Having a consistent exercise routine is proven to help boost your mood and improve your physical health.
– Make routine social plans, even if they are virtual. Staying in bed can enhance depressive symptoms. Even getting together with a friend on FaceTime can help with loneliness.
– Add more light to your room by opening the blinds OR get a “light therapy” lamp, bulb or light box, to help mimic the sun’s rays. This is most effective in the morning and can help in starting daily tasks.
– Avoid overloading on unhealthy foods and try to maintain a healthy diet. For example, eating too many carbohydrates can make a person tired and less likely to be active.
– Try to participate in new activities or try old/forgotten ones. This may help spark an interest that can provide structure and productivity.
– Seek counseling if your SAD worsens and you feel the above recommendations aren’t helping. Consulting with a trained professional to help facilitate talk therapy is an effective way to find alternative coping strategies or methods.

The Hemophilia Outreach Center offers counseling from a clinically based mental health professional trained to help with SAD and other mental health disorders. If you would like to pursue behavioral health services through HOC please do not hesitate to contact HOC at 920-965-0606 to schedule an appointment with Joe Hoelscher, MSW, LCSW.

Recent Posts

Finding the Right Hemophilia Treatment Center Near You

For individuals and families navigating the complexities of hemophilia and other bleeding disorder diagnoses, finding a treatment center that offers comprehensive, personalized care is paramount. This in-depth guide aims to illuminate the path to finding the right...

Glanzmann Thrombasthenia: Understanding Your Treatment Options

Glanzmann Thrombasthenia is a rare bleeding disorder that necessitates a nuanced approach to care and management. This detailed guide not only elucidates treatment strategies but also underscores the significant support network available through the Hemophilia...

Introduction to “HHT Treatment: What You Need to Know”

Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), also known as Osler-Weber-Rendu disease, is a genetic disorder that affects blood vessels and can lead to significant health issues. Understanding the current treatments for HHT is crucial for those diagnosed with the...

Understanding and Managing Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is the most common hereditary bleeding disorder, affecting both men and women. Despite its prevalence, myths and uncertainties surround its management and impact on daily life. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify VWD, offering...

Aging and Bleeding Disorders

As our bleeding disorder population’s life expectancy continues to rise to that of the average American, our patients need to understand that they are at risk for the same disease states that over 50% of all Americans now...

Every Meal, Every Snack, Have a Plant!

Take good care of yourself when away from home whether on the road, at work or at school. Why?  Current evidence suggests that eating more vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, seeds and nuts will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain...

Social Media