by Aaron Potratz, LPC
The holiday season is often portrayed as a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration. Families come together, traditions are upheld, and there’s an atmosphere of love and warmth in the air. However, for some individuals, the holidays can bring about a sense of dread, anxiety, and sadness. This condition is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and it affects many people, especially during the winter months.
As we approach the holiday season, it’s crucial to remember that you are not alone if you experience SAD. The good news is that Christian counseling can provide valuable support and guidance in dealing with SAD, especially in the context of couples counseling. In this blog post, we will explore how Christian counseling can be a source of comfort and healing for couples affected by SAD during the holidays.
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that typically occurs at the same time each year, most often in the fall and winter. While the exact cause is not fully understood, it’s believed that reduced exposure to natural sunlight can disrupt the body’s internal clock and lead to mood changes. Common symptoms of SAD include:
- Low energy and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Weight gain and cravings for carbohydrates
- Social withdrawal and decreased interest in activities
The Impact of SAD on Couples
SAD can be particularly challenging for couples to navigate during the holiday season. The person experiencing SAD may feel overwhelmed, irritable, or disinterested in holiday festivities. Their partner may struggle to understand the sudden change in mood and behavior, which can lead to tension and miscommunication. This is where Christian counseling can play a vital role in helping couples cope with SAD.
Christian Counseling for SAD during the Holidays
Christian counseling provides a unique and faith-based approach to addressing SAD within the context of a loving relationship. Here are some ways in which Christian counseling can be a valuable resource for couples facing this challenge:
- Faith-Based Coping Strategies: Christian counseling integrates faith into the therapeutic process. Couples can draw on their spiritual beliefs to find strength and hope during the holiday season, even when dealing with SAD. This includes relying on prayer, Scripture, and a deeper connection with God to provide comfort.
- Open Communication: Effective communication is essential for couples dealing with SAD. Christian counseling can help couples navigate difficult conversations, express their feelings, and offer emotional support. By embracing the Christian value of compassion and understanding, couples can enhance their connection.
- Coping Skills: Counselors can teach couples practical coping strategies for managing SAD, such as light therapy, lifestyle changes, and relaxation techniques. These strategies can be aligned with the couple’s faith and values to create a holistic approach to healing.
- Support and Understanding: Christian counselors provide a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals and couples to share their experiences. This support can be invaluable during times of emotional distress.
Case Study: Sarah and David’s Journey
Sarah and David had always loved the holiday season. They celebrated Christmas with great enthusiasm and cherished their family traditions. However, in recent years, Sarah had been experiencing SAD during the holidays. She found herself feeling low on energy, disinterested in holiday preparations, and increasingly irritable.
David didn’t fully understand what Sarah was going through, and their usual holiday joy was replaced by tension and frustration. Feeling disconnected and at a loss for how to support Sarah, they decided to seek Christian counseling.
In therapy, they learned to communicate openly about Sarah’s SAD and its impact on their relationship. They discovered that their faith could provide strength and guidance during this challenging time. Through prayer and faith-based coping strategies, they began to navigate the holiday season with renewed hope and understanding.
Seasonal Affective Disorder can cast a shadow over the holiday season, affecting couples and their relationships. However, Christian counseling offers a path to healing, understanding, and support. By integrating faith into the therapeutic process, couples can address SAD with a holistic and compassionate approach, enhancing their connection and finding hope even during the darkest days of winter. If you and your partner are struggling with SAD during the holidays, consider seeking Christian counseling to guide you toward a season of healing and renewed love.
Get Support With Christian Anxiety Counseling in Hillsboro, OR, and Beyond
Our Christian counselors in Portland, Oregon are here to support you and your relationship, wherever you are in Oregon. At Life Discovery Counseling we can help you and your partner have a balanced marriage with Christian couples therapy. When you are ready to start, follow these simple steps:
- Find out more about our dedicated therapists in Beaverton and our understanding counselors in Clackamas
- Schedule an appointment with your preferred counselor, or reach out to us with questions
- Start learning how to have a quiet mind and calm heart
Other Mental Health Services at Life Discovery Counseling in Oregon
If you are in Portland, Clackamas, Happy Valley, Damascus, Hillsboro, or Beaverton, we can help you in person at one of our comfortable therapy clinics. Christian counseling is the cornerstone of our approach to therapy. Not only do we see adults, but children in counseling too. We also work with depression treatment, anxiety therapy, trauma therapy and PTSD treatment, relationship issues, marriage problems, and postpartum counseling. No matter where you are in the state, we can provide the support you need with online therapy in Oregon. Once you’re ready to start, we’re ready to meet you. Let’s connect!
About the Author
Aaron Potratz is Co-Owner of Life Discovery Counseling Services, and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He supervises the counseling staff, writes occasionally for the blog, and provides trainings.