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The Mind in the Workplace

The Mind in the Workplace Series, focuses on the importance of mental health in the workplace. Mental health can be a topic that many shy away from in the workplace. Breaking the silence on this topic strengthens our ability to be inclusive and aware of challenges that others may be struggling with. Join us in this important series to learn more about mental health challenges and ways to support employees who experience mental health challenges so that everyone in the workplace can thrive.

Week 9: The Mind in the Workplace - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

IMPORTANT: Leadership video is also available at:

Please Note: The Mind in the Workplace series aims to educate and spread awareness about mental health disorders and their impact on the workplace. However, members of the HR team are NOT mental health professionals. The information provided should not be used to self-diagnose, nor does it fully depict the complexity of each mental health disorder referenced. We understand that mental health looks different from person to person for numerous reasons. Therefore, please use discretion and consider doing external research when viewing the videos in this series.

 

Discussion Questions:

 

  1. As the video mentions, some symptoms of SAD resemble those of other mental health disorders, like depression and bipolar disorder. However, SAD is unique in and of itself. Why is it helpful to differentiate SAD from other mental health disorders that may present similarly? Do you think it’s necessary to do so? 

  2. Even if you don’t have SAD, have you ever noticed that you act differently with the season change? If yes, how so? What have you done in the past, or what are you currently doing to counter negative feelings? (Examples from the video are listed below.) 

    • Light therapy  

    • Increasing natural light exposure 

    • Long walks or exercising (particularly outside) 

    • Talk with your doctor about increasing your Vitamin D intake 

    • Maintaining a sleep routine (focusing on quality of sleep/routine over 8 hours each night) 

  3.  The video mentions Cognitive Behavior Therapy as a useful tool for SAD to realign your thinking by changing the way you speak about how you feel about the weather and seasons. Do you have any experience with using any of the techniques listed below? Have any of them been helpful? How did this mindset shift help change your mood?  Are there other strategies that you find beneficial during seasonal changes? 

 

For Example:

  • Changing how you speak by saying, “I prefer warm weather” instead of saying, “I hate cold weather.” 

  • Identifying times when you use "all" or "nothing" thinking

  • Practicing positive thinking

  • Avoid “should” thinking (“I should be happy right now” or “I should be excited about the holidays.”) 

  • Journaling      

  • Meditation 

Additional Resources:

Video

Week 9: The Mind in the Workplace - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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