Connecting Space

Connecting Space

Journals

Winter Blues

It’s the time of year when Trees take their sustinance back to their roots after their leaves fall

Birds Migrate

Animals take to their Dens

People search out warmth and comfort and reflect on the year passed and what the future may bring

As days get shorter and the temperature drops, it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. All you want to do is stay in, curl into a ball, and eat.

Symptoms of a low mood

Symptoms of a general low mood may include feeling:

sad
anxious or panicky
more tired than usual or being unable to sleep
angry or frustrated
low on confidence or self-esteem
A low mood often gets better after a few days or weeks.

January is considered the most depressing month of the year. The weather is cold and miserable, daylight is in short supply, you’ve got the post-holiday blues (disappointment that the holidays didn’t go well or having a hard time adjusting to work/school after leisurely holidays), and then there are the holiday weight gain and credit card bills that start to roll in. It makes perfect sense that many of us feel down in January and that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is at its peak this time of year.

It’s tempting to curl up on your couch, eat your favorite comfort food, and binge watch TV. This is fine on the occasional Sunday afternoon, but if you’re prone to depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s not going to be helpful on a regular basis.

Try these 15 behavioral strategies for challenging symptoms of winter depression or SAD.

Get out of the house. We spend much more time inside during the winter. Not only is all that sitting unhealthy, but it’s isolating and not mentally stimulating to spend many hours in your own house or apartment. A simple change of scenery can change your perspective on things. Be sure you get out every day no matter if it’s for a walk around the block, to a new restaurant, or to an appointment.15 ways to beat the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder, depression
Laugh. There’s a reason that videos of giggling babies and dancing goats are so popular! They make us feel better by quickly shifting our focus onto something fun, hopeful, and uplifting.People who laugh often are more resilient and relaxed.
Say “no” to something you don’t want to do. All of my regular readers know that I’m a big believer in boundaries and the happiness boost that you can get from speaking your mind and choosing what’s right for you.
Give yourself a treat. Regular treats are another one of my favorite happiness boosters. Unlike rewards, treats don’t have to be earned. You simply give them to yourself because they make you happier. The only rule is that your treats have to be healthy. Sorry, fistfuls of potato chips don’t count (and they won’t make you feel better anyway).
Clear the clutter. Yes, your environment has an impact on your mood. Piles of mail and counters filled with clutter contribute to overwhelm and fatigue. A nice, neat space can be surprisingly helpful when you’re feeling down. If you’re lacking the motivation and energy to clean, just spend five minutes tidying up to get started.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Somethings really aren’t worth getting upset about. The key here is to know what really matters to you and try to keep things in perspective. I know this is a hard one. Letting go of the “small stuff” isn’t about denying your feelings or avoidance; it’s a conscious decision to put your effort into what matters to you and releasing things that are out of your control or are truly minor annoyances.
Put on your favorite playlist. Music has a huge impact on our emotional state. Music has a way of getting into your soul. Jam out to whatever kind of music you like. It doesn’t have to be “happy” or “uplifting” music to be therapeutic.
Spend time with your pets. If you have a pet, you already know that pets can be both fun and calming. When you’re feeling down, spend some extra time petting your cat or playing catch with your dog. You’ll both be happier!
Eat a healthy lunch (and an afternoon snack). Certainly, nutrition in general is important for physical and mental health. I’m focusing on lunch because I think it’s often neglected. Many of you don’t eat lunch at all! I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but I know from experience that when your blood sugar drops from not eating anything, your mood also drops (think about how irritable children get when they’re hungry, for example). And nutritional science does support that eating healthy foods at regular intervals will help you maintain a more positive and stable mood.
Mindfully use your senses to increase enjoyment of everyday life. When you’re busy and distracted, you take a lot of things for granted; you’re simply not paying attention to the little pleasures in life. Tuning into all of your senses and enjoying everyday experiences through taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound can add a new level of appreciation and enjoyment to them.
Move your body. One minute of gentle stretching or jumping jacks is enough to refocus your brain, get your blood flowing, and add some new energy to your languishing mood.
Buddy up. Most things in life are more fun when done with a friend. So, seize the opportunity to connect with a buddy (just make sure s/he’s got positive energy).
Write it out. Feelings need an outlet. Writing is a quick, safe, and effective way to process through what you’re feeling and what’s happening in your life. Writing can help you clarify your feelings, gain insight, and is a great way to release some of the “negative” feelings that you’ve been storing in your mind and body.
Turn on more lights. Light therapy is a non-invasive treatment often used for SAD that involves sitting in front of bright lights. Even if you don’t have SAD, simply turning on extra lights in your house or office can help improve your mood. It’s not a coincidence that we associate darkness with depression. The days really are dark this time of year, so brighten up your space and your mood by letting in natural sunlight when possible and turning on the lights.
Anticipate a fun-filled activity. Nothing gets your mind off of your problems, like having something to look forward to. If you can plan your next vacation, awesome! If not, there’s plenty to look forward to right in your own community. Consider buying tickets to a concert, plan a night out without the kids, or head to a movie you’ve been wanting to see. The key here is to find something that you’re really jazzed about doing and savor not only the experience, but the anticipation of doing it.

Recovering from the winter blues, SAD, or depressive symptoms always involves a combination of both honoring your feelings and actively giving yourself a little push to do something different. I hope you’ll find an idea or two from the list above that feels like a good place to start moving yourself toward more energy, happiness, and peace of mind.

Author: Jill • Filed under: Uncategorized • Posted: December 2, 2019 7:59 pm

Thought for Spring 2020

 

When I think of Spring I think of new beginnings, change, possibility.

What  change do you want to make this year?

What qualities would you like to grow this year?

In making the change what possibility does this open up for you ?

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured • Posted: March 12, 2018 11:21 am

Thought for October- intolerable feelings

Most people dislike feeling uncomfortable. There are many different ways that humans can feel uncomfortable…we can be hot, cold, tired, in pain, hungry, unwell, and the list could go on.

I want to say something about  emotional discomfort, or what is often called distress. We may not like it, but experiencing uncomfortable emotions is a natural part of life.

However, there is a difference between disliking unpleasant emotions, but nevertheless accepting that they are an inevitable part of life and hence riding through them, versus experiencing unpleasant emotions as unbearable and needing to get rid of them. Some people tell us that they “can’t face”, “can’t bear”, “can’t stand”, or “can’t tolerate” emotional distress. Being intolerant of experiencing emotional discomfort can actually breed a whole bunch of problems, as it interferes with living a fulfilling life, and can make worse any emotional discomfort we might be experiencing. If difficulty facing your feeling so tolerating distress sounds like you, then here is a resource that you will find useful .

Modules:

  • Module 1: Understanding Distress Intolerance
    This module defines what is meant by distress intolerance, and provides general information about negative emotions.  It considers how our negative beliefs about distress and the methods we use to escape our distress, keep distress intolerance a problem in the long term.  PDF document: 352kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

     

  • Module 2: Accepting Distress
    This module highlights the importance of negative emotions to our survival, and that our emotions are not permanent but are ever changing experiences.  The module focuses on learning to tolerate distress by accepting our negative emotions, which is a skill one can develop via mindfulness practice. PDF document: 277kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

     

  • Module 3: Improving Distress
    This module explores ways you can improve your distress, by acting opposite to your urge to escape the distress, and participating in activities that are either activating or soothing. Guidance on how to solve problems that may be causing distress is also addressed.  PDF document: 332kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

     

  • Module 4: Tolerating Distress
    This final module brings the strategies from this information package together by developing an individualised Distress Tolerance Action Plan.  Ways of regularly applying this plan are reviewed, with the aim of developing a sense of emotional wellbeing. PDF document: 326kb. Updated 8 June 2012.

 

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured • Posted: October 13, 2017 4:09 pm

Health Matters

Talking to Your Kids About Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Ultimate Do’s and Don’ts Guide

talking-kids-about-drug-alcohol-abuse

Intervention eBook: What to do if your child is drinking or using drugs ?

Intervention_Guide_3.pdf

 

Author: Jill • Filed under: Family Matters, Health Matters • Posted: 3:38 pm

About Strokes: Warm Fuzzies and Cold Pricklies

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is an act by someone else that lets you know they are there.

Dr. Calude Steiner , in a book called  ” A Warm Fuzzy Tale” names pleeasant strokes ” Warm Fuzzies” because you feel warm and fuzzy all over when you get one.  He calls unpleasent strokes ” cold pricklies”

An example of a warm fuzzy :

touch

hello

a compliment

a warm and friendly look

a smile

What we say and the way we look at each other as well as the way we touch each other can all be pleasant strokes(Warm Fuzzies)

The very best strokes (Warm Fuzzies)are the ones you don’t have to earn – the strokes you get from people important to you  just for being . These are free strokes .  These strokes are not only for being good, smart or winning  but just for being you .

Strokes are vital to your physical and mental health and you need them every day to be healthy and happy


Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured, Narrative Matters • Posted: May 13, 2017 6:52 pm

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