Sponsored Post: A prescription for managing seasonal depression

With the days growing shorter and the skies darkening, the UW Neighborhood Ballard Clinic is starting to see patients whose moods match the gloomy weather. They are tired, sleep long hours and have trouble getting out of bed or leaving the house.

Dr. Sona Bhatti with a patient at the UW Medicine Neighborhood Ballard Clinic.If these complaints sound familiar, they may mark the onset of winter seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression is thought to be caused by the effect of reduced natural daylight on brain chemicals that regulate our sleep patterns and mood.

Talk with your primary care provider if you’ve experienced SAD symptoms for several years. Once they’ve confirmed a diagnosis, they can discuss these common treatment options:

Light therapy

The first line of treatment for most people is light therapy. They sit in front of a light box that delivers high-intensity white fluorescent light for about 30 minutes a day. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50 to 80 percent of daily light box users experience an essentially complete remission of symptoms when they continue treatment into spring.

The “dawn simulator” is another light therapy that can be used alone or in conjunction with a light box. This light mimics a natural sunrise. It turns on early in the morning and gradually increases in brightness to awaken people more naturally without an alarm.

Let your doctor know if your mood fails to improve after several weeks of light therapy. You should also see your doctor immediately if you have severe symptoms of seasonal depression, such as difficulty functioning at work or home, or if you are feeling unusually sad and blue. In these cases, more aggressive treatments using antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioral therapy may be necessary.

Diet and exercise

For seasonal affective disorder, as for other types of depression, the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet cannot be overemphasized. A daily walk is a great start. Or you can take advantage of the many opportunities for indoor and outdoor recreation that the Pacific Northwest offers year-round, like Ballard’s own Turkey Trot.

Finally, while many people find that these therapies – alone or in combination – can help to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of seasonal depression, some patients find that one other instruction is helpful at this time of the year. Along with shorter days, the arrival of fall often brings increased stress: summer vacations are over, school starts, and the holidays are around the corner. Enjoyable activities are needed to counter stress and keep our spirits up, so remember to have fun. We live in Ballard after all.

The UW Neighborhood Ballard Clinic is open six days a week, including evenings, and offers comprehensive patient- and family-centered primary care for the entire family throughout all stages of life. For more information about the UW Neighborhood Ballard Clinic and to make an appointment, visit uwmedicine.org/inballard or call 206.789.7777.

Sponsored Post: Expressive Journeys Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling at Circle of Arts Studios

 

circle-arts-kaylaAre you interested in how art therapy can help you and/or your family? Kayla Helenske, MA, LMHCA is co-owner of Circle of Art Studios where she teaches art classes and operates her art therapy and mental health counseling practice, Expressive Journeys. The studio is located on the west side of 15th Ave right off of Dravus Street at 2821 Thorndyke Ave with easy access to Queen Anne residents.

Helenske’s practice is unique to the area being the only mixed media and pottery studio for kids and adults to also include art therapy and mental health counseling services. Nearly half of the families who frequent the studio are Queen Anne residents because of the easy commute and fantastic services.

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Helenske supports individuals in moving forward and growing healthier lives and relationships through holistic and creative processes. For over 15 years she has been weaving her love of art, healing and community through her own art process, teaching art, facilitating art therapy groups and meeting with individual clients and families.

circle-arts-groupHelenske focuses her practice in working primarily with children, teens and women with a multitude of presenting symptoms such as anxiety, depression, loss and grief, emotional regulation, life transitions, self-esteem and social skills.

Art therapy is a means of utilizing art materials to allow thoughts and feelings to move as you dialogue with your inner canvas through lines, shapes and colors giving image to what the experience feels and looks like in your body. The art allows the maker to capture a moment – a tactile representation of thoughts, feelings, as well as further connect and reflect upon what is working, not working or perhaps missing from their life.

circle-arts-metalThe process of creating also allows for a cathartic experience, expelling built up stress, anger and/or grief. The actual feelings of anger, sadness and grief are emotions experienced by everyone. Withholding these feelings and suppressing them can impact our physical and mental health, as well as relationships with others. As a client centered and strength based therapist, Helenske also intertwines mindfulness in her practice guiding clients to note how they feel before, during and after art making which is often accompanied with witness writing their thoughts.

Along with meeting with individual clients, Helenske offers group work including Women’s Identity and Stress Reduction, Intuitive Painting Classes and The Art of Friendship: A Social Skills Group for kids. Friends and families can also schedule private sessions to come together to process loss and grief, transitions or reconnect as a family through art making.

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Circle of Art Studios offers a multitude of services including mixed media and pottery classes for kids and adults, art+wine events, raku parties, team-building events and birthday parties. If you are looking to reconnect with your friends and family, let Circle of Art Studios help you host your next gathering. Please visit Circle of Arts Studios website for more information.

You can learn more about Kayla Helenske and her practice, Expressive Journeys, via Circle of Art Studios’ website and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Sponsored Post: Cycle Back to School with Pedalheads!

The post below is a sponsored post from Pedalheads Bike Camps.

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Now that we’re halfway through August, it’s time to start thinking about going back to school! What better way to travel down the tree-lined streets of Queen Anne than by bike? Not only is cycling a healthy way for your child to start their day, it’s also a wonderful way to give them greater independence as they enter the new school year!

DSC_1604At Pedalheads Bike Camps, we teach kids how to ride safely and competently in a fun, educational environment. We run our camp out of Queen Anne Elementary School (411 Boston St), where kids from 3-12 master the skills they need to succeed on the trails and the streets. Maybe you’ve seen some of our more experienced campers pedalling around the Upper Queen Anne neighborhood or on the Elliot Bay trail!

Since 1995 we’ve taught over 200,000 children to ride, using our own Pedalheads’ teaching method, combined with small classes (generally 4:1) and exceptional instructors. With 50+ locations across Canada and the United States, our comprehensive program opens up a world of opportunities for a lifetime of cycling!

DSC_0177Camps run Monday to Friday June-August and luckily we still have some spots available for late August! Choose between morning camps (9:30am to 12:00pm), afternoon camps (1:00pm to 3:30pm) or all-day Camps (9:00am to 4:00pm, at select locations). We also offer private lessons. There are several different programs to choose from, depending on your child’s age and skill level. Before and after care is available for all-day camps.

For more information, you can contact Pedalheads at 888.886.6464  or via email at info@pedalheads.com.

Big turnaround in 2012 for Queen Anne & Magnolia housing market (sponsored story)

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

What a difference a year makes … sale prices continue their climb and time on market continues to drop. It is definitely turning into a seller’s market.

For the 10th out of the last 12 months the median sale price for single-family homes sold on Queen Anne and Magnolia met or exceeded the sale price for the same period a year prior. Much of this trend can be attributed to a decrease in the supply of new listings in 2012 compared to 2011.

In addition to a shortage of inventory, record low interest rates, continued strong hiring by Amazon, Microsoft and a slew of smaller to midsize companies and a general belief that the market has hit bottom has resulted in strong appreciation for most Seattle home owners and sellers in 2012.

The median sale price for single-family homes sold in 2012 on Magnolia & Queen Anne was $565,000 compared to $527,500 for 2011, an over 7% increase. The average time on market decreased to 51 days for 2012 from 60 days in 2011.

A less than a 3 month supply of homes is generally considered a Seller’s market while 3-6 months in inventory is considered a “balanced” market. The overall supply of Magnolia & Queen Anne homes averaged around 2.7 months of inventory for 2012 versus a 4.2 month supply for 2011.

Expected trends for 2013 include continued low interest rates and inventory as well as multiple offers situations for competitively priced homes in popular neighborhoods including Magnolia & Queen Anne with their great walkability, popular schools and proximity to downtown.

More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found here.

Tip: Even in a strong home Seller’s market amazing photos and professional marketing materials (including a custom website and full color two sided flyers) can result in a quicker sale and the best sale price.

John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, john@live206.com or www.live206.com.

(Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed. All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.)