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5 Solid Ways to Make Winter Your BFF

As a teen growing up in Cache Valley, I loved summer. The outdoor possibilities were endless. However, I couldn’t understand why my mood took such a terrible hit in October and November. As an adult and many years later, I do now!

Do you dread the thought of winter? Its long nights and short, hazy, or foggy days? Does the thought of snow and cold make you long for the warmth of spring with its longer days and beautiful green grass?

If so, this blog is for you.

How to Beat Winter

Over the years I’ve noticed that many, many people struggle with their mood in winter. In fact, health care professionals have even created a term for it. That is, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Here’s 5 solid ways to turn winter from your sworn enemy to your BFF.

Get Out of the House

Sitting in your home and lamenting winter from November through March isn’t going to help. In fact, it will only make you detest winter more. Definitely move your body!

Get To the Gym

Exercise during winter will help you fight the feeling of low energy and lethargy. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get a significant boost to your mood and motivation. Just be consistent and take it one easy/moderate/challenging workout at a time.

Get Outside

We all know the benefits of getting summer sun in moderation on our bodies. The sun promotes vitamin D development which enhances our mood. It stands to reason that if you hole up inside all winter your mood will take a significant hit. Get outside, even in January, to feel better.

Get Out of Dodge

While many of us would love to live in St. George or even Phoenix during the winter, that isn’t feasible for most. What is feasible is taking a vacation down south. Whether it’s St. George, Phoenix, or even Honolulu, definitely get of out Dodge. Your mood and motivation will love you for it!

Get To the Mountains

When the inversion season hits (and it will), most people find the weather intolerable. Want a solution? Simply get to the mountains. Getting above the inversion will revitalize you as the sun feels amazing. Whether it’s to ski, snowshoe, or just to drive to Park City, you’ll definitely feel a benefit when the sun warms your face.

A Parting thought

These five ways to change your thinking about winter will definitely help. Choose 2 of the 5 and do them consistently. You WILL feel a difference!

While this is a likely a subject for another blog post, eating healthier, getting adequate (don’t over do it!) sleep, and surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy people will also pay you wonderful winter benefits.

Michael Boman, LCSW is a therapist with 18+ years experience working with individuals, couples, and families. He is also a believer in exercise and taking care of oneself. He welcomes your comments.

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Back to School Blues

Clair Mellenthin’s interview on Fresh Living on KUTV.

Follow the link: https://kutv.com/features/fresh-living/clair-mellenthin-back-to-school-blues

 

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What’s Wrong With Me!!!

 
As the seasons change from the light filled days of summer to the shorter cooler days of fall, many people begin to notice a change in the way that they feel. For some people, they feel invigorated and energized by the cooler weather; however, for others these shorter days lead to feeling less motivated. And still, for others the onset of cooler weather is just the precursor to the “winter blues”, a condition formerly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Regardless of the timing of depression, it’s an experience that can feel isolating and hopeless. However, there are things that we can do to help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.
 
Humans are connected beings, we need connection to survive and we especially need it thrive. Strengthening our connections with those around us can help with the feelings of isolation and being alone. What do we do if we don’t have strong connections in place? Looking for ways to connect that are a little more unconventional than the traditional family, friends, and coworker relationships is one place to start. For example, there are meet up groups for all kinds of different hobbies that are open to people. Faith communities are ways to connect with people that have the same ideological and theological beliefs. Volunteering allows an array of engagement opportunities that also provide a sense of worth and giving back. However, even engaging in an activity that provides peripheral contact can be beneficial; going to the same coffee shop every morning on your way to work and engaging the barista in small talk is a step towards making a connection.
 
The coffee shop stop leads us to another way to combat depression…getting out. Yep, it might be the last thing that you want to do when you are in the midst of a depressive episode, but it is one that can provide a quick pick me up. Finding options that require us to leave the safety and confines of our couch can be as exciting or as calming as we choose. Going for a quick 10 minute walk around the block, going to the bookstore to pick up the latest novel from your favorite author, or taking that pottery class you’ve always wanted to try…they all require that we step away from our comfort zone.
 
Exercise is also a great way to combat depression. Exercise gets our blood flowing and heart pumping that leads to a release of those feel good endorphins that help balance our emotions. Want to up the anti depressive effects? Exercise outside in the sunshine, there are currently studies that hypothesize that vitamin D deficiencies are
 linked to depression, though that has been proven yet. However, light therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for SAD.
 
Lastly, talk therapy with a trained therapist that can help you deal with your individual symptoms is also an effective option when you are having depressive episodes that aren’t being effectively mitigated by diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Having a person that will listen and help you develop and implement changes and coping skills into your life can be invaluable as you traverse a trying time but you don’t have to do it alone. Wasatch Family Therapy offers therapists for all ages to meet your individual needs, to make an appointment call 801-944-4555 today.
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Identifying and Treating Seasonal Depression

SEASONSFall time is upon us!  There are so many things that make fall a great time of year.  The food, the smells, and the holidays are all things to look forward to.  However fall also marks a difficult time for many people.  Our days become shorter, which mean we do not have as many daylight hours.  For some this transition only marks the beginning of a season change, while for others it marks a significant change in their mood.
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a common problem that numerous people struggle with.  Many people have symptom onset in the spring time, however the majority of people notice their symptoms start in the fall and continue through the winter months.  Researchers speculate that the lack of sunlight during these months cause a change in important chemicals like melatonin and serotonin that affect our mood, appetite, and sleep.  As a result we become more likely to exhibit depression like symptoms during months where we do not receive enough sunlight to regulate these chemicals.
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Beat the Winter Blues: Tips for Dealing with Seasonal Depression

The winter months can bring excitement and joy as we celebrate the holidays, decorate the tree, and spend time with our loves ones. However, it can be quite a different experience for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD). For these individuals, winter can be a time of gloom, despair, and hopelessness.

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3 Things You Never Say to Someone with Seasonal Depression: UtahValley360.com Interview

UtahValley360.com interviewed Julie Hanks about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. As indicated by its name, this disorder affects individuals seasonally at the same time each year. For some it can happen in warmer months but typically this disorder occurs in colder months where we experience less sunlight.Wasatch Family Therapy Depression

Julie suggested that these three things should never be said to someone affected by SAD..

1.You don’t look depressed. 2. Happiness is a choice. 3. I know just how you feel.

Read the entire article to learn more and find out what solutions can be offered for someone suffering from seasonal affective disorder.

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Don’t Let Seasonal Depression Get You Down: KSL TV News

Wasatch Family Therapy DepressionIs it post-holiday blues or seasonal depression? Winter months bring shorter days and less sunshine. I sat down with KSL TV morning news to bring to light some of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and how to treat it.

If you’re struggling with depression, we can help you to feel better! Click here to get to know our therapists.

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Julie Hanks ranked #1 Among the Top 10 Online Influencers for Depression: Sharecare

Julie Hanks, LCSW was recently named Number 1 of the Top 10 Online Influencers for Depression. SharecareNow a site created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Studios, HSW International, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, is highlighting the positive impact that  people are having for individuals suffering from depression during Seasonal Depression Awareness Month (December). According to SharecareNow, Julie is the most prominent online influence affecting the lives of millions who are suffering from depression.

Here’s how top influencers are ranked…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer Depression: Fox 13 News

Holly Willard, LCSW featured on Fox 13’s Sunday News discusses Summertime Depression.

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Mood boosters to beat the winter “blahs”

Listen to Julie Hanks, LCSW‘s tips to beat the winter blues and survive the cold, dark months with a little more pep in your step.

Listen to episode (007) “Mood Boosters to Beat the Winter Blahs

You and Yours Show with Julie Hanks, LCSW

The Women’s Information Network

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