Snow-SADThe Holiday Season is officially here. For many, this is the most wonderful and joyous time of the year. For others, overwhelming feelings of sadness and depression may set in.  In light of December’s designation as Season Affective Disorder (SAD) Awareness Month, it is important to be mindful of the fact that many may struggle through this period of the year suffering in silent pain.

SAD-SymptomsSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) warning signs:

Hopelessness, anxiety, loss of energy, heavy “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs, social withdrawal, oversleeping, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, appetite changes including increase in desire for carbohydrates and sugar, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, and in rare instances, thoughts of suicide.

SAD-light-therapyThe good news is SAD can be treated! SAD is often treated with a combination of light therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or medication. A list of doctors can be found at:

You can make a difference in helping others! Pay it forward this Holiday season! The concept of “pay it forward” has significant implication in the world today. To best summarize this concept I like to think of random of acts of kindness that promote goodness in our world. The seemingly small and unexpected things we can do, such as helping a stranger in need, or caring for an elderly neighbor without being asked, are ways we can ‘pay it forward’. A plethora of opportunities to help people are present each and every day. As we develop a mindset that is more aware of these opportunities and begin to act on them, our attitudes begin to change through our actions.

Pay-It-ForwardHow to pay it forward

1. Look for an opportunity to help someone you don’t know.

2. Show warmth and kindness to someone by doing the unexpected.

3. In lieu of a gift this holiday season from a friend or family member, suggest they give to someone less fortunate.

4. Share the joy with others around you; your kindness comes back to you tenfold.

5. When you notice someone has done something nice for you make note to do the same in return for 3 people & always with a selfless spirit.

6. It is the smallest of things that make the difference; you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

7. For more ideas on how to pay it forward check out the website:

As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”!

Total-Family-SolutionsDebbie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Delaware and New Jersey and CEO of Total Family Solutions.