I think happy thoughts

A light in the darkness

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The winter blues are difficult to beat.  How do you stay happy when it’s freezing out?! For many people the winter can be a very hard time. Finding something to get out of bed for in the mornings is hard.  This time of year makes me want to stay under the covers and stay in bed all day. I feel very much like an animal in hibernation. I don’t want to move or do much of anything and getting motivated is extremely hard. To combat this I make sure the house is warm in the mornings when I wake up.  Then I plan a few motivators into my morning routine as well. For me coffee is a nice warm treat that I reward myself with after getting up.  These are simple solutions and help me. This doesn’t mean that for everyone the solution is that easy.

For some people motivating themselves is an almost impossible task and if you are prone to depression this time of year can be a trigger. Noticing a change in your mood early can help you to try and combat the sad feelings.  If you really can’t find anything to get yourself out of the darkness of winter then it’s time to reach out for help. Talking to a family member or friend is the best place to start. Friends and family should also look for warning signs that someone is not just down because of the winter but possibly clinically depressed. Spending time with a loved one may be enough to combat the depressed mood. If not, there are many professionals that can help. The most important thing is to remember that you are not alone.  Many people suffer from depression and mood disorders.  Feeling alone leads people to isolate themselves even more which makes it hard to get help.  If you allow others to know what is going on you are able to start on your journey to recovery. It also helps people who might be feeling the same way but are afraid to speak up.   Taking the first step out of the darkness and onto the lighted path of recovery is hard but very worth the work.

If you have suffered from depression and are now in recovery please share your stories with others. This helps to bring a face to depression. It also gives hope that you can survive it. Please share your inspirational words and advice with others to help bring their suffering out of the dark and into the light.

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Author: Hattie Carroll-Ratliff

I am a licensed counselor and have been working in community counseling for more than ten years. I am a working mom and love to give back to others. I get a lot of satisfaction and joy from my work with families because I am passionate about helping as many people as possible feel successful and happy in this important part of their lives. I have a private practice on the main line in the Philadelphia Metro area. Please contact me if you would like more information. hattie.counseling@gmail.com

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