Our youth volunteers are available to answer calls and chat online Monday-Friday from 4-9pm. Our adult crisis workers are available 24/7, so your call will always be answered if you are in need of someone caring and non-judgemental to talk to! Call us at: 1-877-968-8491 (1-877-YOUTH-911), or chat online by clicking on the “click to chat” icon!
Do you feel sad or hopeless, notice your sleep patterns changing, withdraw from social activities, or lack energy or focus during the winter? Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a pattern of depression in which someone is depressed only during a certain season. It’s certainly no surprise that you could be depressed – gloomy weather and holiday stress are no fun – but sometimes the problem runs deeper than everyday anxiety. It’s believed that SAD’s cause is a lack of light. In the winter, the days are shorter and the clouds often cover the sun even when it’s up. More than just looking depressing, this can actually mess with your sleep patterns and even your serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. Couple that with normal winter stressors, and you’ve got a big problem.
So what can you do? If you want to avoid SAD, one of the best things you can do is to get as much full-spectrum light as you can. If you live in an area where there’s no sun this time of year, you might want to invest in a full-spectrum lightbulb and use it for a couple of hours in your day. If you can get sun – even just for 10 minutes on your break – do it. If you can take a short walk in the sunlight, even better, since exercise also helps boost your mood. Some people suggest taking Vitamin D supplements during the months where you can’t get it from sunlight – it hasn’t been proven to work, but it’s good for you even so. If you choose to take Vitamin supplements we recommend that you consult with a doctor first.
Unfortunately, prevention doesn’t work if you don’t know about it, or don’t use it, so maybe you’re already caught in the throes of SAD. Fortunately, there are options for you. The preventatives listed above – sunlight or full-spectrum light, exercise, and vitamin supplements – can all be curatives, too. If your depression is getting serious, you might want to talk to a therapist. Even if you think it will pass by spring, it still needs to be taken seriously. And of course, if you need to talk to someone, you can always call us.
Finals week is coming up for many of you, and that means stress. Take a look at this article from livestrong.com about dealing with test anxiety. As always, getting enough sleep and exercise is a good, healthy way to deal with anxiety. While you’re at livestrong.com check out this list of great songs to work out to!
For someone who is grieving, the holidays can be an especially difficult time of the year. This website is great for anyone who is struggling with feelings of loss, or knows someone close to them who is grieving.
Everyone gets angry. It is a healthy and normal emotion to have. It becomes a problem when anger is expressed in unhealthy and hurtful ways. In the heat of the moment, it is sometimes tough knowing how to outlet anger in a safe but effective way. This website has some great information on learning more about anger and how to deal with it.
These 4 tips are included on the website, but in much more detail, so check it out!! Even if you feel like you don’t have an “anger problem” it is worth your time to read
Anger control and management tip 1: Explore what’s really behind your anger
Anger control and management tip 2: Be aware of your anger warning signs and triggers
Anger control and management tip 3: Learn ways to cool down
Anger control and management tip 4: Find healthier ways to express your anger