It happens every year, but we sometimes still get caught off guard. The shortened days. The colder temperatures. Winter can cause many of us to want to go into hibernation mode and the lack of sunlight can lead to seasonal depression. So, what do we do when our mental health is suffering and the weather makes it feel worse? This is where the idea of “comfort tv” can be helpful.
What is “Comfort TV”?
Comfort TV are the beloved shows that you’ve watched over, and over again. For some, the shows are comforting because they feel the nostalgia of enjoying the same episodes they watched in childhood. It can bring up happy memories of family nights laughing over an episode of “Friends”. For other people who are experiencing anxiety or stress, comfort TV may be enjoying a show that they’ve watched many times and they know the outcome. There is a comfort in knowing how things will end. They know when to fast forward through a sad section, or not to worry because at the end of the episode the criminal will be caught.
How Your Favorite Shows Can Help
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. Many people with SAD begin experiencing symptoms and continue into the winter months, draining their energy and making them feel moody. In the winter, reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin which can trigger depression. Without sun, melatonin levels can decrease as well which can disrupt sleep patterns and mood. Even knowing that these feelings will usually change once the seasons change, it is important to address the symptoms. One way may be finding healthy coping mechanisms, such as comfort TV.
Watching familiar TV shows can be a healthy form of escapism. When you’re feeling stuck or down about your life, turning on a beloved show can remind you that there is more out there in the world. If you’re feeling isolated, watching comfort TV may even help you feel connected to the characters you’ve watched again and again.
Our Five Comfort TV Shows
If you’re looking for some comfort TV to get you through the winter months, here are a few suggestions:
- The Great British Bake-Off: Lovely British people baking and cheering each other on during a baking competition. The winner gets a cake plate, which is completely endearing in the age of million-dollar game show prizes.
- Gilmore Girls: The quirky mother/daughter duo in a charming small town won us over with their witty banter and family love.
- The Good Place: A fun comedy with heart where the main characters explore morality and learn what being a “good person” is all about.
- The Office: With eight years of episodes and an endearing office full of characters, The Office is a comfort TV classic.
- Queer Eye: This uplifting Netflix reboot follows everyday people through a journey of self-exploration surrounded by the Fab 5 who cheer for them every step of the way.
Solstice East for Adolescent Girls
The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff.
We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, and physical fitness. We also offer accredited, engaging academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve. For more information please call (828) 759-5909.