The holidays can be an incredibly busy time for our social calendar as we share in festivities with family and friends. For many of us, however, the holidays can amplify feelings of loneliness and isolation. Strange as it may seem, you are most certainly not alone in feeling lonely during the holiday season. In fact, several studies have found that a growing number of Americans are experiencing feelings of loneliness or “the winter blues”, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. So, what can make “the most wonderful time of the year” feel not so wonderful?
Have you ever noticed that your mood and energy levels suddenly drop when the weather gets colder? Do you just not feel like yourself during the dark and shorter days of winter? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience an annual onset of depressive symptoms during specific seasons of the year.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a common form of depression that can affect people during seasonal transitions, particularly the colder months in Fall and Winter. SAD is different from other forms of depression because people tend to feel better once the weather warms up in the Spring and Summer. People living in northern, colder climates (think Seattle or Boston) are more likely to experience SAD compared to those living in southern, sunny climates (think Miami or Los Angeles).
While many people may experience a temporary feeling of the winter blues (Hello Daylight Savings!), SAD can impact the way we think, feel and function in daily life for long stretches of time every year. So, what might winter-pattern SAD look like?
Here are some common symptoms:
Let’s talk about self-diagnosis! I know there’s been a lot of talk about this on social media and I wanted to put in my two cents. There are lots of pros and cons with self-diagnosis.
Meet the newest member of our staff, Coriann Papazian, LMFT!
Coriann brings with her a wealth of experience working with adults and couples from diverse backgrounds. A few of her many strengths are working with anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief. She particularly loves working with individuals and couples within the LGBT+ community. "It's close to my heart," she says. Issues that might come up with individuals include navigating the coming out process, finding community, and navigating diverse relationships. When working with couples, she uses the Gottman approach to enhance communication skills, resolve conflict, and build shared meaning.
Coriann is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving adults, teens, and couples virtually throughout California.
Many of us want to make healthy lifestyle changes to facilitate better mental health. Whether you want to get into a consistent fitness routine, eat more nutritiously, sleep better, or decrease your substance intake, it can feel overwhelming to start. Maybe you’re great at starting, but struggle to maintain. Here are four tips that are backed by science to help you make and stick to a new healthy habit.
There’s no way around that fact that Thanksgiving and other end-of-year celebrations will be different this year. New and confusing emotions may be coming up as we contemplate being away from those we love and traditions we cherish. Here are some ways to help make this season as joyful as it can be:
A Conversation Between Caleb Birkhoff, LMFT, and Laurel Roberts-Meese, LMFT
Laurel Therapy Collective
offers online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.