The winter months are usually considered a time of happiness and joy, but for some, it can be a tough period of time to get through. Whether you’re battling anxiety over having to socialize during the holidays, depression over thoughts of a loved one you’ve recently lost, etc., know that you’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder can cause a change in your mood, appetite or sleeping habits, and it’s extremely common during the colder, darker winter months. Below, we offer a few tips on how to overcome seasonal depression.
Spend time in the sun
Take at least a few minutes every day to spend time outdoors or sit near a window. Bright light – both natural and artificial – can improve health outcomes, such as depression and anxiety. So, take a walk when it’s sunny out or purchase sunlight imitators for those dreary days.
Although it may be hard to leave your warm bed during the winter, consider partaking in winter sports, holiday shopping with friends or sightseeing to improve your mood. Exercise is a great way to produce endorphins, which trigger positive feelings. Find positive activities that will help you express and control your emotions.
For some, the thought of attending a counseling session isn’t easy. In fact, it can feel terrifying. It’s because there’s a stigma placed on mental health – a common misconception that seeing a clinician means there’s something “wrong” with you. We disagree. Asking for help indicates you are taking control of your life and of your mental health. While this can be scary, the things that often scare us are great opportunities for us to step up and grow. You may find that facing your fears will prove to be empowering, rather than petrifying.
Need a little more reassurance? Below, a few South Bay clients share how counseling sessions with our clinicians have impacted their lives.
“I have been attending South Bay for four months. South Bay has helped me regain my morals and values again. It has helped me to build upon my spiritual, physical and mental health. I was at a point where I was lacking in my life, and I needed South Bay. They were right there when I called. Just be open and honest with yourself while you’re here. Work on the issues you need to work on. Allow yourself the opportunity for the staff …
Mental strength is the way you think, feel and behave during certain situations. Building mental strength will help you gain self-acceptance while working toward self-improvement. However, there are several misconceptions about what mental strength is and why it’s important. Below, we discuss common myths about developing mental strength.
Myth #1: Mental strength and mental health are the same thing.
Mental strength and mental health, although they may coincide, are not the same thing. Mental health isn’t something we can control – mental strength is. Factors such as genetics and past life experiences can lead to someone developing a mental health challenge, but this doesn’t mean that person isn’t mentally strong. Everyone has the ability to build mental strength, regardless of whether they have depression, anxiety, etc.
Myth #2: You’re either mentally strong or mentally weak.
There is no physical line that separates those who are mentally strong from those who are mentally weak. Everyone has room for improvement when it comes to building their mental strength, and working toward developing that strength does not mean that you’re weak. Just as increased physical strength requires daily work, so does mental strength. Coming to terms with the areas where we can grow …
It’s common to experience fear when you decide to begin therapy sessions. At first, you may feel uncomfortable speaking about personal issues with someone you don’t know. While fear is a natural emotion, it can be confronted by reframing your anxious thoughts. Below, we offer a few tips on how to overcome your doubts about speaking with a professional clinician.
Decide what you’d like from your clinician.
From the get-go, be open and honest with your clinician about what you need from the session. Do you want someone who will offer advice? Listen silently? Would you like the conversation to be casual or feel more like you’re speaking with an expert? If you express your needs from the beginning, the clinician can then guide the session accordingly. Clinicians will work with you to better understand your needs and help you through life’s struggles.
You don’t have to go into it alone.
If speaking to a professional in a one-on-one setting scares you, you might find comfort in group therapy. In this environment, it’s up to you if you want to share your feelings or just simply listen to others, all of whom are working to navigate similar challenges. Depending on …
From kindergarten through college, school is one of the main constants in a young adult’s life. Even though exams, projects and homework can be overwhelming and stressful for students, attending school provides a structure and potential support system that some people may not realize they depend on. And once graduation time hits, it can be intimidating to enter the “real world.” With stressors such as debt, job searching and social media expectations surrounding post-graduation, the transition can be challenging and can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Fortunately, every step along the way can be taken in stride – if equipped with the correct mindset.
Below are a few tips and words of encouragement to help conquer the battle that post-grad depression brings.
Recognize the risks of social media
Social media creates the facade that everyone is living the perfect life, which produces feelings of envy and anxiety in most young adults. Comparing yourself to others online can be damaging to your mental health. Know that social media only shows the highlight reels, and the hard times simply aren’t shared. Try giving your friends on social media a call instead. You may learn that they are experiencing similar problems, …