By Julian Melgosa
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression linked to the winter season. The absence of natural light seems to be the determinant factor. The affected person feels sad, very tired and discouraged, suffers lack of appetite, sleeping difficulties and can have thoughts of suicide. The frequency of suicide increases during the months of January and February July-August in some parts of the world.
In any case, the general advice for depression is also valid to this seasonal syndrome:
- Remember the good things from the past.
- Look at the bright side ‘of events.
- Keep yourself busy.
- Be in contact with nature.
- Seek the company of healthy people.
- Carry out some altruistic work.
- Look at the future with hope.
Boredom and Apathy
There are many more activities and pastimes these days than ever before. However, apathy and boredom are increasing. Many suffer from lack of motivation, interest, or energy. They have lost the ability to use their time creatively or to take advantage of available energy. But these feelings can be prevented.
How to Prevent Boredom and Apathy?
These feelings obstruct personal development and can be prevented with simple steps and plans, such as:
Escape from routine. Bring change to your daily life by introducing innovations and modifying your normal behaviors: go home using a different form of transport, call a friend that you have not seen in years, surprise your spouse by taking him/her to a show.
Plan for the future. Develop specific plans and goals and take the first steps towards their accomplishment. There is nothing like becoming excited about the future.
Learn to enjoy simple things. The spark of life is not found in great and impressive events but in the delight for simple things: the reading of a book during a peaceful evening, a relaxing conversation with an old friend, or an ordinary picnic. These may bring unspoken joy to the human soul.
Help someone in need. Supporting a humanitarian program will bring a special spark to your life and will help you forget your problems of motivation, helping you to experience happiness as you observe joy in others.
Reflect on the purpose of life. Focus on fundamental questions: Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? What is truly important? Finding answers to these questions is linked to the achievement of a full and stimulating life.
Irresponsibility is a problem with negative effects on mood. It touches many life dimensions and poses a barrier to carry out the most basic tasks.
These are the areas affected by this problem:
- Household and personal items, which suffer deterioration.
- Personal habits with random sleeping and meal schedules, as well as procrastinating with uncomfortable tasks.
- Work achievement, as the person does not contribute to the team, delays his/her tasks and does not honor promises.
- Finances, as the person delays or fails to make payments, borrows money and spends without thinking about priorities.
- Relationships, since lack of responsibility causes family and friends to question this lifestyle. It brings endless conflict to relationships.
Facing irresponsible behavior is not easy, as these habits are very deeply rooted. However, with determination and family support, the person can change. The following recommendations may be useful to initiate the change:
Enjoy a tidy environment. Devote one day to bring order and cleanliness to your house or room and enjoy the new environment. Realize how easy it is to maintain it daily, instead of spending an entire day or two to organize everything.
Carry out the unpleasant tasks first. It will be very difficult for you to complete difficult tasks if you delay them. Do first what you like least. Then relish the easy and enjoyable tasks.
Do not leave your job until you have another one. Even if you do not like your current employment, do not resign until you have another job. Impulsively quitting a job will leave you unemployed and without income.
Develop a budget – Include a list of unavoidable fixed expenses (house payments, installments, utilities, food, etc.). Money allocated to those items is untouchable. If additional money is available, you can consider other expenditures.
When you wish to spend, think twice. When you see something you like, ask yourself: Is it necessary? Is it urgent? Often, by deferring a purchase, you will realize that after a few days the item is no longer attractive.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. When you feel sad or your thoughts are controlled by sadness, immediately think about other more positive and happy things. If necessary, keep on hand a list of positive things that you can think about (vacations, special visits, special successes, and happy moments from the past). As much as possible do not go to places or relate with the people who make you feel down or sad. Think about the things that elevate your mood. Rejoice and no one will take your joy.