Bryan Health’s online community for Nebraska parents.

Parenting is life-changing, rewarding and filled with excitement. CapitalMOM is a Bryan Health online community for Nebraska parents and grandparents to connect, learn and grow with one another through all stages of life.

Children & Social Media: Teaching Internet Safety for Kids

Let’s face it, as much as we might want to keep our kids away from social media forever, that’s probably not...

Beating the Winter Blues

I’ll admit, winter has never been my favorite season. I would gladly trade cold weather, less sunlight and getting sick more often for sunny days at the beach. The “winter blues” is a common term used to describe the increased sadness, lower energy and reduced interest in enjoyable activities many people feel during the winter months. For many people, these symptoms are minor and manageable with a few lifestyle changes, but for others, they become more intense and may develop into seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. Most often, symptoms are prominent in winter months but can follow other patterns as well. Symptoms of SAD include:

Depressed mood
Less interest in activities
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
Being more fidgety and restless or more slowed down than usual
Fatigue
Reduced ability to think or concentrate
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation
One or several of these symptoms may occur for short periods of time. If you notice these symptoms becoming more persistent and affecting your relationships, work or school activities, you will want to actively take steps to manage them.

Ways to Manage Seasonal Affective Disorder
The cold weather and shorter days of winter are inevitable. The effects of seasonal affective disorder do not have to be. Take steps today to manage symptoms and allow yourself to thrive during all seasons of the year.

Get Moving
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to tackle depressive symptoms. It releases endorphins, improves physical health and can provide a sense of accomplishment.

Reach for Healthy Foods
Foods that are high in whole grains, protein and healthy fats provide energy and boost your mood. Sometimes this can be challenging. Some indulgence is okay (maybe even needed), but allowing large portions or high-sugar foods to become the basis of your diet will only worsen symptoms of SAD.

Stay Connected
When depression sets in, reaching out to friends and family can be daunting. Ironically, it is also one of the best ways to improve your symptoms. Having lunch with a friend, texting a family member or joining a book club are all ways to stay connected when sunlight and outdoor activities may be limited.

Try Bright Light Therapy (BLT)
BLT involves sitting in front of a light box for 30-60 minutes a day to mimic exposure to sunlight. Light boxes can be found for as little as $70 and do not require any special training to use.

Consider Professional Help
Both medication and mental health therapy have been shown to be effective at reducing the intensity of SAD symptoms.

Be Proactive
Because SAD follows a regular pattern, it is easier to anticipate the onset of symptoms than it is for other types of depression. While this pattern may not be exact, beginning these management strategies during the months leading up to the typical onset of symptoms will reduce the intensity and distress caused by symptoms.

Take an Online Screening
If you or someone you care about are concerned about Seasonal Affective Disorder or other mental health conditions, take our online screening now. Many screenings are available. All screenings are confidential and provide information to help you determine your next steps.

A Christmas Miracle in the Making for 2023

Our family had a wonderful holiday, and my grown grandkids are once again believers in Santa Claus. I’ve tried...

One Way to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution

The start of a new year—an opportunity to start fresh, set goals and resolutions, and on and on and on. Somewhere,...

Top 5 Things I Would Tell New Moms

At the end of every year, there are always top 10 lists for something. Recently, a friend asked me if I could write a...

Children & Social Media: Teaching Internet Safety for Kids

Let’s face it, as much as we might want to keep...

Beating the Winter Blues

I’ll admit, winter has never been my favorite season. I would gladly trade cold weather, less sunlight and getting sick more often for sunny days at the beach. The “winter blues” is a common term used to describe the increased sadness, lower energy and reduced interest in enjoyable activities many people feel during the winter months. For many people, these symptoms are minor and manageable with a few lifestyle changes, but for others, they become more intense and may develop into seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. Most often, symptoms are prominent in winter months but can follow other patterns as well. Symptoms of SAD include:

Depressed mood
Less interest in activities
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
Being more fidgety and restless or more slowed down than usual
Fatigue
Reduced ability to think or concentrate
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation
One or several of these symptoms may occur for short periods of time. If you notice these symptoms becoming more persistent and affecting your relationships, work or school activities, you will want to actively take steps to manage them.

Ways to Manage Seasonal Affective Disorder
The cold weather and shorter days of winter are inevitable. The effects of seasonal affective disorder do not have to be. Take steps today to manage symptoms and allow yourself to thrive during all seasons of the year.

Get Moving
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to tackle depressive symptoms. It releases endorphins, improves physical health and can provide a sense of accomplishment.

Reach for Healthy Foods
Foods that are high in whole grains, protein and healthy fats provide energy and boost your mood. Sometimes this can be challenging. Some indulgence is okay (maybe even needed), but allowing large portions or high-sugar foods to become the basis of your diet will only worsen symptoms of SAD.

Stay Connected
When depression sets in, reaching out to friends and family can be daunting. Ironically, it is also one of the best ways to improve your symptoms. Having lunch with a friend, texting a family member or joining a book club are all ways to stay connected when sunlight and outdoor activities may be limited.

Try Bright Light Therapy (BLT)
BLT involves sitting in front of a light box for 30-60 minutes a day to mimic exposure to sunlight. Light boxes can be found for as little as $70 and do not require any special training to use.

Consider Professional Help
Both medication and mental health therapy have been shown to be effective at reducing the intensity of SAD symptoms.

Be Proactive
Because SAD follows a regular pattern, it is easier to anticipate the onset of symptoms than it is for other types of depression. While this pattern may not be exact, beginning these management strategies during the months leading up to the typical onset of symptoms will reduce the intensity and distress caused by symptoms.

Take an Online Screening
If you or someone you care about are concerned about Seasonal Affective Disorder or other mental health conditions, take our online screening now. Many screenings are available. All screenings are confidential and provide information to help you determine your next steps.

A Christmas Miracle in the Making for 2023

Our family had a wonderful holiday, and my grown...

One Way to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution

The start of a new year—an opportunity to start...

Top 5 Things I Would Tell New Moms

At the end of every year, there are always top...

Pregnancy & Babies

Top 5 Things I Would Tell New Moms

Top 5 Things I Would Tell New Moms

At the end of every year, there are always top 10 lists for something. Recently, a friend asked me if I could write a blog about the top five or 10 things I would tell new parents. So, after reflecting on the last 12 years of parenting, here are the things I wish...

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Is There a Right Time to Have a Baby?

Is There a Right Time to Have a Baby?

Is there really a "right time" to get pregnant? As it turns out, everyone you ask will likely give you a different answer. It’s a question just about every person considers once they enter adulthood. The answer will not only be different for different people but may...

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Talking All Things Toddlers

Toys, Cash or Bust

Toys, Cash or Bust

It’s November 1 and the Walmart toy catalog has arrived. You look and see that things have already been circled and an entire page has a large circle around every toy. This is what happens every year. The toys wanted are circled with my kids’ names next to them, so I...

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I Need to Be More Empathetic

I Need to Be More Empathetic

Growing up I was close to my mom. She was and still is my best friend. I could talk to her about anything. I felt comfortable going to her for advice. Now that I have children, I have strived to have continuous open conversations with them. The Need to Be More...

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Bryan Health Resources

Wherever life leads, we’re here for you. Whether you’re ready to welcome a new member to your family, looking for ways to stay fit and active, seeking a new direction in life with a career in health care, want to learn more about your health through convenient podcasts and easy online screenings, have a health concern and need a doctor, or are interested in giving back by volunteering. You can turn to us, and we’ll move Forward. Together.

Kids in K-12 Grades

Past & Presents: A Holiday Gift to Remember

Past & Presents: A Holiday Gift to Remember

Nearly five years later, I can still vividly see my mom at her quilting machine. Perfectly piecing together different colors of fabric and swiftly moving them through the sewing machine. I can remember seeing my aunts’ watery eyes glisten when they opened a quilt...

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Toys, Cash or Bust

Toys, Cash or Bust

It’s November 1 and the Walmart toy catalog has arrived. You look and see that things have already been circled and an entire page has a large circle around every toy. This is what happens every year. The toys wanted are circled with my kids’ names next to them, so I...

read more

Words of Grandparent Wisdom

The Art of Digging

The Art of Digging

Our granddaughter has been playing volleyball since she was five years old, and I hate to say it’s coming to an end. On the Leaderboard When she was in elementary school, she was short but made up for her lack of height with her hustle. It’s almost as if she was born...

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Grandmas Will Always Be There

Grandmas Will Always Be There

A couple of weeks ago, we traveled to Denver, Colorado. Other than visiting grandkids in Kansas City, we have stuck close to home. Whether our concern was because of COVID-19 or not wanting to spend too much money, I don’t know, but that was our decision. We probably...

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Find a Doctor

At Bryan, we have over 570 specialty and family practice doctors to care for any need you have. You can use our website to find the right doctor for you. Search by specialty, view doctor videos and even request an appointment online. Life’s busy, we make finding a doctor fast and easy to fit your schedule.

Our Health Experts Weigh In…

Grieving During the Holidays

Grieving During the Holidays

The grief bubbles up unbidden. I never know when or where it will surface, but inevitably it comes when I least want it. My mom contracted COVID-19 six months ago. She nearly died of complications from the virus. The anticipatory grief I experienced was different from...

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Meet Our Authors

Mallory Connelly

Meet Mallory

Babies & Toddlers

Hello! I am born and raised in Lincoln, and I never plan to leave. As a small child I knew I wanted to be a mom.  My mom is my best friend, and I wanted that bond with my children. I went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated with a degree in Journalism, but my one passion was motherhood. My husband and I have been married for over 11 years now and we have two children. Cohen, my son, is 10 years old and Collyns, my daughter, is 7 years old. We recently got a dog, Maya, who is now the baby of the family. In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time at a local television station.  It’s a balancing act, but being a mom is one full-time job I never want to quit.   

Shelly Mowinkel

Meet Shelly

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a sophomore in college, our middle daughter is a sophomore in high school and our youngest is a seventh grader. Like most families, our calendar is color-coded with professional meetings and family and kid activities. In my free time, I like to read, write, exercise and travel.

Nancy Becker

Meet Nancy

Grandkids & Grandparents

Where can I even begin to explain the magic that consumed me when I found out I was going to be a grandparent? It didn’t take long, and I was a grandmother of four wonderful kids. With the birth of each one, I was in awe of my emotions and my love for these bundles of joy.  

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