The most wonderful time of the year is behind us, but for many people, the most miserable time of the year is in full bloom. At least 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (known as SAD), which could have an impact on physical health. Life coach Diane Case has discovered a simple strategy to banish the blues:
“Journaling is a door to your inner thoughts, helping you make steps towards your ideal life,” says Case, author of Write for Recovery. “Using creative writing, I’ve developed simple exercises that explore the depths of your emotions, cultivate mindfulness, and define your most passionate goals.”
It is my pleasure to have author, Diane Case, as a guest writer on this Momma’s Bacon Post to have her provide some strategies and techniques for using writing to help with depression during the winter. I’ve included information on the author and provided information about her new book, Write for Recovery: Exercises for Heart, Mind and Spirit (Paperback), which is now available for pre-sale on Amazon. Be well, my readers!
Thank you, Diane, for taking time out of your busy schedules to provide from some strategies and techniques for using writing to help with those who suffer from SAD.
Q: What are some practical techniques to help transform winter blues into a positive attitude?
1. Carry a notebook and note all the positive things people say about you or do for you – and even more importantly, the ways you uplift others.
2. Write down the negative messages you tell your self. Then counter each less-than-helpful statement with the words of encouragement and love you might hear from an ideal parent or mentor.
3. Stuck inside? Suffering from SAD? It’s a terrific time to take a written inventory of the atmosphere in which you live. Begin by simply describing the room around you, noticing things you generally overlook. After you have written the physical description, explore the feeling this environment instills: what is its weight, its color and density? Does your home or workplace inspire or depress you? Does it create space and encourage growth and expansion, or is it constricting? Does your living space make you happy to be home?
4. Describe what would you like your environment to feel, your ideal atmosphere. Then list things you might do to make your space more peaceful, inspiring and comfortable. Write down at least three small positive changes that you can make. It is inexpensive, for example, to create nice lighting, perhaps even a colored light bulb, or a small mood lamp for before bedtime. It is easy to add the smell of fragrant candles or an essential oil diffuser. Or hang art on your walls that will instill calm in your bedroom, inspire you in your office and uplift you in the kitchen. The music you listen to also greatly affects the atmosphere of your home.
Q: What are some key tips and strategies that will cultivate mindfulness during this difficult time of year?
1. Choose a moment in your day – it can be as small as when a clerk smiled at you or you noticed a child’s laughter or a lovely flower. Now savor that moment in writing. Use all your senses as you describe the experience and how it felt in detail. Practicing this daily will help you to become mindful of the tiny delightful moments in even the most challenging days!
2. Journal in the third person. Tell about your day using the pronouns “he” or “she” or “they.” I suggest continuing this challenge for a few days – writing as if you were watching yourself think, feel, do. Observing yourself objectively is a form of mindfulness and this exercise will help you to be more aware of your thoughts, actions, and emotions throughout the day.
3. Another happiness-builder is to write a daily gratitude list. The act of acknowledging our blessings has been shown to increase both serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. Focusing on the positive is a mindfulness habit one can develop.
About the Author: Veteran actress Diane Sherry Case (whose favorite role was Lana Lang in Superman, The Movie) is now a writer and filmmaker living in Santa Monica, California. Her short stories have been widely published and her first novel Elephant Milk won a best novel award in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and has been adapted for screen. As an alumni of the American Film Institute’s Directors Workshop for Women, she wrote and directed two short films, Spa-tel and Valentine’s Day, and more recently the 2016 television series House Poor. She also teaches a therapeutic writing program that she developed. Case has overcome a lifetime of loss and trauma, and has used writing as a form of psychotherapy throughout her harrowing experiences. Her book on the subject, Write For Recovery: Exercises for Heart, Mind and Spirit, will be published in January 2018.
Looking for inspiration? Would a more positive perspective on your life be beneficial? Would you like to rediscover empowering memories and clarify your dreams? And how about saying goodbye to writer’s block and generating new material for your memoir or fiction? Write For Recovery is derived from the field of creative writing and uses the same type of exercises that are taught to inspire fiction writers, but redesigned in order to be geared toward healing.
List Price: $ 12.95 (Available for preorder on Amazon.com)