The Circle of Wellness Newsletter 7/23

The Circle

The Circle of Wellness with Diana

Monthly Reflections

When we hear of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), we tend to associate it with Winter Depression. SAD is a type of depression that is generally affected by the time of the year, the light and the weather. The symptoms usually occur during the fall and/or early winter and they improve during spring and summer. However, some people experience the opposite pattern whereby the symptoms of depression begin in spring or summer. The symptoms can be mild and then progress and become more severe.

Although the cause of depression during summer is not yet known, possible contributing factors might include:

  • Disruption in routine/schedule/habits due to vacation or children being out of school;
  • Change in sleep and eating habits due to disruption in routine;
  • Not being able to participate in some summer vacation or outdoor activities due to limited finances;
  • Health or mental illness reasons preventing participation in summer activities which could lead to isolation and sadness and a feeling of loneliness;
  • Anxiety or avoiding participating in some outdoor summer activities due to concern about physical appearance.

It’s important to see a mental health practitioner, in particular if the symptoms cause significant distress or interference with your functioning, you feel hopeless or have suicidal ideation, or use increased alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or another substance to cope with your distress.

In addition to treatments, various other coping strategies could be implemented to adjust to the spring/summer change of seasons:

  • Avoiding social withdrawal and social isolation; staying active, going out and engaging in regular physical exercise; and keeping our regular daily activities are all very important.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and a regular eating schedule help our sleep and mood and energy level.
  • Maintaining proper sleep hygiene and sleep schedule.
  • Learning from past spring and summer experiences in terms of what was helpful and what aspects of our life created stress and anxiety? Trying to problem solve the aspects of our life that led to distress in previous years. We might need to plan ahead and seek support for better problem solving.
  • Setting a financial budget ahead of spring to better plan activities/projects for the spring/summer.

News and Announcements

I’m currently accepting new clients for Psychotherapy and Personal Development remote sessions. All current clients receive 20 % discount for Personal Development or MARI services, and newsletter subscribers receive 10 % discount as new clients.

Head vs heart or love vs logic is the eternal dilemma that’s been plaguing humanity for centuries. The incomparable C.G. Jung reminds us that one should not/could not exist without the other and that bringing them both in a perfect union is what ultimately makes us human.

Research and Information

Silence might not be deafening but it’s something that literally can be heard, concludes a team of philosophers and psychologists who used auditory illusions to reveal how moments of silence distort people’s perception of time.

This study’s findings address the debate of whether people can hear more than sounds, which has puzzled philosophers for centuries.

Read about this fascinating exploration here.

Suggested Readings

C.G. Jung’s The Red Book is a quintessential reading for any psychology enthusiast. It was here that he developed his principal theories of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation that would transform psychotherapy from treatment of the sick into a means for the higher development of the personality. This Reader’s Edition makes it palatable to the wider audience while exploring the theme of what it means to be human.

Get “The Red Book” here.


Useful Links and Resources

Glenn Harrold is a renowned hypnotherapist and author that has many relaxation music, hypnosis and meditation downloads listed for a small fee for purchase, as well as self help resources for mental health and overall wellbeing. Learn to live mindfully with the help of meditation or self-hypnosis.

Get more information about it here.

Recipe of the Month

Fresh strawberry tart is the ultimate summer dessert. It comes together in under an hour and is not overly sweet so you can even enjoy it for breakfast.
Fresh Strawberry Tart

  • 1 cup flour, regular or gluten free, sifted
  • 1 stick of butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ice cold vodka or water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 lbs strawberries
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar, depending how sweet you want it
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom


  • In a food processor, pulse together all crust ingredients (the first 6 ingredients) until a soft dough is formed (you may need to add a bit more or less flour, depending on your blend).
  • Vodka evaporates during baking and helps to create a buttery soft crust.
  • Roll out the dough and transfer to a tart pan.
  • Combine strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, cardamom, and vanilla.
  • Pour into tart shell.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  • Cool before removing from the pan.

Homework Corner

For the next month, try to find beauty in the ordinary, meaning in the confusion, fun in the mundane, and gratitude in hardships. Here’s a sample of a monthly schedule that you may choose to follow to live life mindfully.
Afina wants to remind you that summertime is for playtime, swimming and all outdoor activities.

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