Wellness & Beyond
'Tis the Season for Changes in Mood
December 06, 2022
The D.C. Bar Lawyer Assistance Program counselors hope you enjoyed your fall and maximized everything pumpkin spice that was at your disposal. There is no denying it — winter is coming, and we want you to be prepared. Wintertime can bring a change in mood or that feeling you can’t quite put a finger on, but you know something is "off."
As the days get shorter and colder and you feel the pressure and demands of the holidays or post-holiday withdrawal, it is normal to experience a loss of energy, feel a bit less social, crave more carbs than usual, or even notice changes in sleep patterns during the winter months. This seasonal mood shift makes winter an important time to focus your energy on looking after your mental health and well-being.
One of the first steps of self-care during winter is acknowledging that the winter blues are a real biological response to changing light levels. Then take action to implement coping tools, from getting more sunshine and exercise to making time for friends and trying mindfulness. If you don’t know exactly what is wrong, explore ways to comfort yourself. For example, give yourself permission to just feel and be with it. Put on something that makes your body feel comfortable. Listen to uplifting music or close your eyes and think of your favorite place.
A winter survival guide wouldn't be complete without acknowledging the stress of the holiday season. It can be both a demanding and rewarding time of year. Some key reminders to stay healthy this holiday season:
- Set boundaries with friends and family.
- Establish a budget for yourself (money, time, and attention).
- Acknowledge your grief.
- Develop a relapse prevention plan.
- Manage trauma triggers.
Here are some additional resources from the Institute for Well-Being in Law:
“Creating Peace and Presence of Mind in Every Season”
“‘Tis the Season for Extra Stress: Reframing the Holiday Mindset”