Why not use the dark nights for personal growth not personal isolation? Therapeutic coach Lynn Scholes explains how you can take control of your emotional wellbeing
For many the winter evenings come with dread. Closing the curtains at 4pm can lead to loneliness and isolation, which can lead to increased anxiety.
The shorter days and less natural light during the winter can lead to a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and depression. The fact that we spend less time outside reduces our intake of ‘lux light’ which directly effects the release of serotonin.
Cold weather and the desire to stay indoors can lead to decreased social interaction, making it harder to connect with others. We go everywhere by car and spend as little time outside as possible. We don’t pass the time of day with people, which can lead to days of little or no conversation with others. Snow and rain can interrupt other outdoor activities, making it more challenging to engage in social or recreational activities that can help alleviate loneliness. The winter months often bring changes in routines and daily activities, which can disrupt social connections which we all need. This can particularly affect you if you live alone.
It’s important to recognise these factors and take proactive steps to combat loneliness during the winter months, such as seeking social support, maintaining a daily routine and practicing self-care to improve mental wellbeing.
The Christmas holiday season can be emotionally challenging for some. Everyone else seems to be partying and spending time with friends, which can shine a light on your own lack of contact with others.
The holiday season often comes with social obligations, which can trigger anxiety.
The pressure to buy gifts and spend money can exacerbate anxiety as can family gatherings which may involve tense social dynamics.
The desire for a perfect Christmas, can spark anxiety as can crowded shopping malls.
It’s important to prioritise self-care, set realistic expectations, establish boundaries and seek support from friends or mental health professionals to cope with these feelings.
You can take this time to focus on making changes to your mindset, which will lead to feeling less isolated throughout the year. Focus on understanding why you feel disconnected. Understanding your thoughts and feelings can help deal with emotions that have held you back or caused stress for years.
Talking to a counsellor or therapist can be highly beneficial in addressing emotional challenges for several reasons.
They can offer a confidential and non-judgmental space where you can express thoughts, feelings and concerns. They provide emotional support and empathy, offering an objective viewpoint on your situation, helping you gain insight into your challenges. Counsellors can also teach you coping skills and strategies to manage stress, anxiety, depression or other emotional issues.
They also facilitate personal growth and self-awareness, helping you make positive changes in your life. Counsellors validate your feelings, empowering you to take control and work toward positive change, building resilience and lasting emotional wellbeing.
Lynn Scholes is a writer, therapeutic coach, trainer and speaker working with individuals and companies
To find out more contact Lynn on 07753 579745 or go to: focus101.co.uk