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Overcoming (SAD)ness During The Holiday Season And Into The New Year



As soon as November 1st hits, our favorite holiday tunes are there to welcome us into “the holiday spirit”. Whether it’s Mariah Carey’s "All I Want for Christmas is You", The Temptations’ "Silent Night", or Boys II Men’s "Let It Snow", these songs (and countless others) are notorious for getting us in the mood for a jolly holiday season.


Sometimes, no matter how many jingles we hear on the radio, some of us may still feel overwhelmed with sadness or just feel “off” and unlike ourselves during this cheerful season...and guess what? That is okay.


However, if you find yourself having an extremely hard time with managing these feelings and it begins to interfere with your work, school, home, or social life, it’s possible that you could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.




What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?


Seasonal Affective Disorder, also referred to as SAD, is a type of depression that occurs when the seasons change (NIMH, n.d.). While SAD mostly occurs during the fall and winter months, SAD may also occur in the summer and spring as well. While Seasonal Affective Disorder can occur in both—men and women, research indicates that SAD is more common in women (NIMH, n.d.).


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an individual suffering from SAD may experience the following:


·Loss of interest in activities that one used to enjoy ·Social isolation

·Feeling extremely sad nearly all day, every day ·Feeling fatigued and lack of energy

·Trouble sleeping ·Trouble concentrating

·Change in diet (Overeating or Loss of Appetite)


What Can You Do About It?


·Talk to your primary care physician or a mental health provider about how you are feeling

·Lean in on your support systems (Family, Friends, Partners, Spiritual Leaders, Coworkers, etc.)

·Practice Daily Mindfulness Activities – Pray/Meditate, Light a Candle, Take a Cold or Hot Shower, Journal, Take a Walk Outside, Listen to an Uplifting Song, Sing Your Favorite Song to Top of Your Lungs, Dance Your Heart Out, Exercise, Stretch, Yoga


Find at least one thing that aligns with your soul, uplifts your spirit, and incorporate that into your daily routine. Your mental well-being is important, so it's essential that you prioritize yourself and your needs, especially during this time of the year. If you find yourself having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing "988".


Valencia J. Wilson, LMSW, MPH, RYT is a Mississippi native and recent MSW graduate of Jackson State University. She aspires to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and strives to provide clinical & holistic support services.


Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Seasonal affective disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder


Photo Credit: Canva Pro


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