BY: CELIA MISSIOS
Winter may still be a few weeks away but many of us are already feeling the effect shorter exposure to daylight and the affect dipping temperatures have on our mood and desire to step outside our homes.
For some people “winter blues” are a minor inconvenience and they manage to make it through the cold days of winter without too much disruption in their daily life. For others this time of year can become a debilitating nightmare known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) affecting people in varying degrees. Though there doesn’t seem to be any studies indicating that persons with ABI are more susceptive to SAD, I started noticing after my accident something was happening and affecting me as soon as the cold, dark days of winter began to approach.
Once the time changed my downward spiral would start – gaining momentum and reaching a dangerous peak by mid-winter. Speaking with other ABI survivors I learned that this was a common occurrence for many of them around this time of year, which like me, had not been present in their pre-accident life. If as the weather changes you find that you are experiencing (or notice increase in) the following:
- Withdrawing from being around people (an overwhelming feeling to hibernate).
- Increase in anxiety and thoughts start to have a negative undertone.
- Energy levels deplete with just thinking about doing something.
- Being uninterested in most activities that were fun and enjoyed.
- Everything starts to bother you
I highly suggest speaking to your family doctor, therapist or other medical professional who will be able to guide you to getting the appropriate care.
Having fought a great fight to live and get my life back I was not about to have a few months each year continue to be taken away from me, any more than they already had. I came up with a plan to help get me through my winter blues.
Celia’s seven tips on how to ease the intensity of weather change:
- A spa outing (alone or with friends) – a massage, energy healing treatment can be most beneficial to mind, body, spirit.
- Taking my two Yorkies – Dolce and Gabbana for morning and mid-day walk. A little exercise helps lower depression and improves your mood.
- When I feel signals popping up, I refrain from a glass of wine with dinner or any other time for that matter. Alcohol can increase depression.
- Take a technical break – from the Internet, blogging or other social media and get outside. As much as technology connects us it can also make us feel further isolated as we see all the photos, tweets of others having fun. Bundle up and go outside even for just 5-10 minutes.
- Make plans to meet friend(s) for dinner, a stroll in the city – face to face interaction with others is priceless medicine.
- Plan an escape to a warm climate location – even if for only a 3/4 day weekend.
- Pay extra attention to eating healthy and drinking plenty of water. I also take a Vitamin D supplement; eat foods high in Omega 3s (salmon, nuts like walnuts, chia and hemp seeds, and spinach) both Vitamin D and Omega 3s have been linked to huge increases in immunity as well as lowered depressive symptoms.
If the cold, gloomy dark days of winter have you buried under your blankets, wishing you could stay there until April, I invite you to check out the segment Tackling Seasonal Affective Disorder on Huff Post Live, which I had the honour of being a guest on, last year.
Celia Missios is a brain injury survivor who has embraced her new found strengths and created a life that fits who she is today. She shares her journey in hopes that it will help others who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress and facing transition in their life successfully move away from fear, pain, and deflated attitude about life – step into the life they want. Celia is the founder of the blog High Heeled Life – inspiration for living a luxurious and balanced life; featured author in Adventures in Manifesting – Soulful Relationships; a Peer Mentor with BIST; and a regular speaker for Canadian Blood Services – Speakers Bureau. Learn more about Celia and be inspired visit www.HighHeeledLife.com or www.CeliaMLifeCoach.com.