Three Strategies to Break Free from the Winter Doldrums


Written by Dovid Green

Now that the cold days of winter are (hopefully) behind us, the days are getting longer and the warmth and fun of sun-filled days are ahead. Yet, even though we leave our heavy coats behind, we sometimes have trouble shaking off our own cobwebs and getting out of that winter funk. To help reach all our goals, here are some basic tips to get out of those ruts and start enjoying the spring! Some of these have been adapted from Gary Emery’s book on overcoming depression.

Ask “What?” not “Why?” – Often when we feel overwhelmed we end up asking big ‘why’ questions. “Why am I unhappy?” “Why does this happen to me?” or maybe even “Why can’t I just get over this?” As meaningful as those questions can be, they tend to leave us with more questions than answers. Instead of trying to address the “why’s” try trading them in for “whats.” “Why is this happening to me?” turns into “What made me upset?” and “Why can’t I just get past this?” can shift to “What new thing can I learn from this situation?” What questions give us a better foothold and an opportunity to have more concrete answers.

Be Active Vs. Reactive – A lot of people say they get a feeling of being overwhelmed when they are down, which in turn can make it difficult to accomplish their goals. Often times being overwhelmed can almost feel like the world is moving so fast around us, and we are just barely keeping up. This happens when we shift into a reactive place – waiting for a friend to call to be social, or waiting for the weather to change to go outside and get some fresh air. Being reactive takes our choices out of the equation, can make us feel down and overwhelmed! To get out of the funk, make some choices. They don’t even have to be major ones; pick a new slice of pizza you wanted to try, or take a new route home on your walk. Those little acts remind us we can make choices, and staying active helps keep us feeling like we have some control.

Pick a Slogan – Have you ever noticed how those great slogans like “Just do it” just stick in our heads? That’s because the idea is short, and we don’t have to think too hard to remember why we should buy those sneakers, or drink that soda. Often when we’re feeling down we think of really important, but often really complicated reasons for getting out of bed and completing our tasks. “I want to do this because if I could only finish this work, I would be able to get started on that other job, and if I finish that, I would start feeling better…” That’s a pretty hard thought to follow when we have so many other things on our minds! So, try whittling down those feelings into a short slogan – something a few words long, so whenever we hit a little bump we can have an easy reminder. “I want a new job,” or “I want to feel accomplished” are short and to the point.

These are just a few ways to break out of the winter doldrums and push ourselves to reach those spring and summer accomplishments.

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The Way of Mastery is to break all the rules—but you have to know them perfectly before you can do this; otherwise you are not in a position to transcend them.

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Calmer in the Face of Hardship
I came to the Center for Anxiety for help in dealing with a family member who suffered from extreme anxiety. But I ended up getting a serious illness two months later and started having my own sessions. With the help of my therapist I got through my illness, learned to understand my habits that were making my major life stresses worse, learned to communicate better, taper my anger, and surprisingly I became more calmer even though my hardships in life worsened. Therapy is a lot of work and not easy, but nothing in life comes easy! I became a better and softer mom and (when I practice what I learned) and my kids and home are calmer and happier. I am still a work in progress and have more to work on, but I know I am on the right path. I wish I knew before how my communication style and anger were really impacting my life, how being softer you can accomplish way more then being harsh. I have been to other therapists in the past and I can hands down say that the Center for Anxiety’s approach is really effective. I have even referred a bunch of people to the Center and they have been really happy with the therapists and how much they really care for their patients.
I Tackled a Long List of Fears
When I first came to the Center for Anxiety, my list of anxieties/fears was long! I was scared of getting sick, getting stranded, driving, flying and more. With the help of my therapist, I immediately got to work and tackled every one of my fears. Now the world is open to me and I feel free! I can dream big and accomplish whatever I set my mind to! I am especially grateful that I was able to do all this without having to rely on medication. It was hard work – grueling at times! – but now I have the coping tools within me for life. In fact a family member recently said to me “You are awesome. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to because you don’t let fear stop you! ” Thank you Dr. Rosmarin and the Center for Anxiety staff for helping me get here. My fears no longer limit me and I love my life. Try it, it might turn your life around too!
Highly Skilled and Professional Treatment
When I sought treatment at the Center for Anxiety, the clinic was is in its incipient stages. However, by the time I successfully finished treatment, the Center for Anxiety grew and flourished into a world-class treatment center, offering cutting-edge, evidence-based treatment to countless individuals. The continued success of the Center for Anxiety comes as no surprise to me, with a team that contains such highly skilled professionals who display clinical acumen, empathy, and compassion. When I first entered treatment I was concerned that therapy would be similar to the experiences with past psychologists: a seemingly bottomless pit with no reductions in my anxiety symptoms, but was so relieved when I started to feel less anxious after only a handful of sessions. My therapist created a treatment plan that was tailored exactly to my needs and taught me practical skills to help me work through my anxiety that I still use and practice to this very day.
No More Panic
When I first came in, I was struggling with panic disorder and didn’t even know it, which only made dealing with it that much more difficult. After my first time sitting down with my therapist, however, I instantly started to gain perspective and look at the difficult situation in a different light. Our meetings helped me conquer the issue step by step and get my life back on track. I’d strongly recommend that anyone dealing with anxiety in a way that impacts their day to day life should visit the Center for Anxiety! I know it helped me tremendously.
Free of Obsessions
When I woke up one morning last June and didn’t want to get out of bed, I knew I needed help. The thought of getting through another day with all my anxieties, obsessions and rituals was just too overwhelming. After feeling stuck for years, I just couldn’t anymore. Thankfully, that’s when I found the Center for Anxiety. Dr. Rosmarin and his staff are experts at what they do, kind and professional. After just several weeks I accomplished my initial targets. The change I experienced in such a short amount of time was astounding that I stayed on for a while longer to work on more complex goals. I soon achieved those too. Now, I am free of my obsessions, know how to manage my anxiety, and love my life. My only regret: not having done this sooner. I wish I had known that you don’t have to wait to hit rock bottom to get help.
Depression Lifted
I’m 26 years old and I’ve been suffering from terrible depression for 7 years. In the throws of my sadness I literally wanted to die. Soon after starting therapy at the Center for Anxiety, my depression lifted. My suicidal thoughts began to dissipate. I remember the feeling that came over me as soon as the dark cloud above me left. It was the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. I actually shouted to my friends, family and anyone nearby me “I’m Happy! I am Happy!” I felt free.
From EXISTING to LIVING
Over the course of four years I developed anxiety-like symptoms (tightness in chest, gut, back) that slowly but surely increased in duration and severity. The EXTREMELY uncomfortable nature of the symptoms notwithstanding, I still continued and managed to function. The effort required to do so, however, left me utterly drained. Having always been a very spiritual person I strongly felt that a course of therapy incorporating a spiritual component could potentially work well for me and decided to give the Center for Anxiety a try. Happily, I have achieved significant symptom reduction, tremendously improved emotional/mental health, and above all, Connection. Medication free. I’m no longer just existing, I’m LIVING. I’ve been given a second chance to become the unique human being that I was meant to be.
No More worries
I have wormed in healthcare for 36 years in many different settings, and I have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the Center for Anxiety. When staff says they are going to call, I get a call. From the first contact, I have been very impressed with the professionalism and efficiency. I had a situation and needed to have sessions more than once per week, and my clinicians worked out a schedule to accommodate my needs. I was astounded that they attended to me so quickly and effectively - they made my priority their priority. My clinicians were also excellent at what they do - they have a plan for me each session, and it's clear that they have thought in advance about each session, and that they are listening to what I say and observing what I do, even though our sessions have been conducted via Telehealth. Compassion is a quality that I have all too often found to be lacking in my experiences as a healthcare professional and patient, and this is not the case with the Center for Anxiety. Of all the websites I found on Google, I am so thankful that God guided my hand to yours.
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