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Health Anxiety: Managing Anxiety Coping Strategies for Christmas

For many, it is not a surprise that the cold, dark winter can cause depression, anxiety and exhaustion, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). However, people may be surprised that SAD can occur in summer too. Furthermore, around 10% of people with winter SAD may also be struggling with summer SAD.

What Is Summertime SAD?

While we associate SAD with gloomy winter conditions, SAD simply occurs when the body struggles to adjust to different seasons. More people struggle with shorter days and lack of sunlight in winter. However, if the long days and warm weather have got you feeling the summertime sadness, then you are not alone.

It is thought summertime SAD may be linked to the lack of melatonin production. With longer days, the body struggles to regulate the sleep/wake cycle and can reduce melatonin in the body, which can mean you struggle to fall asleep. This tiredness coupled with exhaustion, the impact of post-lockdown, and the fact your social media is full of people having fun in the sun can all cause the summer blues.

Triggers for summertime SAD include;

  • Seasonal body image concerns

  • Reduced sleep

  • Socialising and post-lockdown anxiety

  • Irregular sleep/wake cycle and routine

  • Too much sun

  • Feeling stressed and busy

  • Diary overwhelm.

Symptoms Of Summer SAD

  • Tiredness and restlessness

  • Trouble sleeping or lack of sleep

  • Reduced appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety and worrying

  • Overwhelming sadness and depression.

Six Tips To Reduce Summertime Sadness

Create A Dark Space

With longer daylight hours, you may struggle to regulate your sleep with the lack of ‘nighttime’. Creating a cool and dark space to spend time in during the evening can help wind down and prepare your body for sleep.

Accept Your Feelings

When it seems like everyone is happier in the summer, it can make you feel even worse if you’re not feeling yourself. However, the best way to move through this is to accept your feelings and recognise these feelings as a sign of seasonal affective disorder. It can help to capture your feelings each day and remind yourself to go easy and relax with self-care.

Give Your Diet Some TLC

If you’re rushing through all the summer events, it is easy to neglect your diet and hydration levels. However, to regulate your body’s patterns, eating consistent meals a day helps create a routine. Plenty of fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables are mood-boosters on a plate. Protein can help regulate your mood, while oats, nuts, seeds and lean meat contain tryptophan, which can help to improve sleep.

Add Blackout Blinds To Your Bedroom

Complete darkness in the bedroom can help to encourage restful, longer sleep. By focusing on getting 7-9 hours of quality, undisturbed sleep, you help your mind and body to prepare for the next day, which can help to improve your mood.

Add Structure With Exercise

Starting the day with an energy-boosting workout such as a cold swim can help to boost your mood and energy. A relaxed, meditative workout in the evening, such as yoga, can help slow your brain and body down to help you switch off and relax.

Seek Support

You don’t have to experience SAD alone, and finding a therapist who can work with you through this can be a big help. I offer a blended hypnotherapy treatment to help clients experiencing SAD manage the overwhelm and sadness that may be impacting them.

Breathing Exercises

Deep and relaxed breathing can help to slow down the sympathetic nervous system. This is where our flight or fight response comes from, which can heighten anxiety. Furthermore, deep breathing can also help to engage the parasympathetic nervous system. This will allow you to experience a sense of calm, focus and positive, rational decision-making.

I will take you through the best breathing techniques for focus, calm and clarity.

Hypnotherapy and Anxiety

Hypnotherapy for anxiety works by effectively re-setting your anxiety level to ‘healthy’. It clears your subconscious of the negative and unhealthy beliefs that drive your anxiety. With our tailored Hypnotherapy sessions, you will learn to respond to life without becoming anxious. You'll regulate your emotions more effectively so that you remain relaxed in situations that would typically trigger your anxiety attacks. Hypnotherapy helps your mind to relax and will help you to regain confidence, enthusiasm, and motivation in your daily life.

It is important to remember that anxiety attacks are based on a particular mental state and can be treated with different forms of cognitive or behavioural therapies. Using hypnotherapy and a variety of therapeutic techniques combines psychotherapy with hypnotherapy. This form of therapy allows clients to release emotions in a supportive environment, enabling each client to move forward without carrying the burden of past anxiety.


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