Even if the weather outside is not frightful, the blues can take a parent down any time during the darker months of winter. If you are subject to a post-holiday crash or gloomy moods all winter long, this list of blues-busters can come to your emotional rescue.
I can always tell when autumn hits even before all the leaves are off the trees. That’s usually when I see a rise in appointments and referrals for patients who are feeling the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or their teenage kids are experiencing Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. While we’re pretty fortunate to live in the top five places in Canada for the highest number of sunny days per year, the combination of cold weather and early darkness can be the perfect storm for depression, excessive sleepiness, sluggish energy, anxiety and weight gain.
Anxiety is a painful experience. The heightened feeling of stress, worry, nervousness and fear can be relentless and overwhelming. Although each child or adult has a unique experience of anxiety, there are some commonalities. For young people, school is often a source of anxiety. The beginning of a new school year or a transition, such as from home to elementary school, from elementary school to junior high school, from junior high school to senior high school or from senior high school to post-secondary school, typically are points of increased stress.
The words ‘back to school’ often bring up a range of emotions for children: excitement to reunite with friends and share stories about the summer months, worry about the upcoming academic challenges and sadness that the summer is over. When a child or teen has experienced the death of a loved one, the thought of going back to school may take on an entirely new meaning.
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