Mental health experts weigh in on dealing with the “winter blues”

The holidays tend to fly by and before we know it it's back to the daily grind. But, in these next couple of months it can be hard to find that motivation.
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 10:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The holidays tend to fly by and before we know it it’s back to the daily grind. But over the course of these next couple of months, it can be hard for people to find the motivation to get outside or be sure they’re taking care of their mental health.

During the dark and colder months, cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, can be on the rise.

“When it gets to 9 degrees below zero like it was last week, all of my patients said ‘I just cant do anything, I’m just not able to function all the way to my core,’” said Dr. Stacy Waldron, a psychologist at Bryan Health.

About 11 million people can be affected by the disorder and even if just for a short time, experts recommend therapy as an option.

“I’ve heard so many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t really need therapy, I can just pull myself up by the boot straps and be ok,’”said Dr. Waldron. “But if they had a sore throat, they’d be off to the doctor in seconds.”

Other suggestions for getting through this time of year include getting natural light, getting enough sleep, and doing activities with friends

This is also a time of family gatherings which can be tough for those dealing with the loss of a loved one or an anniversary of a death.

“As long as the weather is cooperating, I think its really important for people to get out and meet with other people, have face-to-face contact,” Sydnie Smith at Tabitha Health said.

That’s why Tabitha offers group therapy sessions to help those affected cope.

“It offers other types of support that family members can’t offer because they’re grieving, too,” Smith said. “It’s different when you can talk to other people outside of your family and offer other perspectives.”