November Spotlight: Reflection and Resiliency

November Spotlight: Reflection and Resiliency


No sun — no moon!
No morn — no noon —
No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day.

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member —
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! —

November can feel like a month of transition and limbo as our feet are planted between the seasons of Fall and Winter. We are not exactly sure what each day will bring – snow, sun, poor driving conditions, indoor recess, or high absenteeism due to illness and/or the beginnings of burnout and compassion fatigue. We are between holidays as Thanksgiving and Halloween end, and the anticipation for winter holidays is yet to ramp up.  


November can be particularly challenging for those living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) as the frequency and severity of their symptoms may increase. S.A.D is a type of depressive disorder in which the pattern of severity and frequency is associated with seasonal changes. It is estimated that 2-3% of Canadians will experience S.A.D in their lifetime. Another 15% will experience a milder form of S.A.D that leaves them only slightly depressed, but still able to live their life without major disruptions. People living with S.A.D make up about 10% of all depression cases. There are some groups of people who are at higher risk of seasonal affective disorder: 


  • Adults are at higher risk than children or teenagers, but it can affect people of any age 
  • Women are 9X more likely to be diagnosed than men 
  • People living in northern places due to the lack of sunlight 

( (accessed October 10, 2023) 


Symptoms are triggered by the change in seasons and amplified by the environmental, social, economic, spiritual, psychological, and emotional shifts that accompany them. One of the biggest challenges this time of year is the shift in time; Daylight Savings lands on November 5th, our clocks will fall back a full hour to greet darker mornings and longer nights. 


Seek assistance if you experience these signs and symptoms last more than two weeks: 


  • Feeling low or sad 
  • Being tearful a lot 
  • Increased self-criticism 
  • Feelings of guilt 
  • Struggling for the motivation to do anything 
  • Struggling to make decisions 
  • Feeling suicidal 
  • Unexplained aches or pains 
  • Struggling to sleep or sleeping too much  


November 11th also marks the annual day of Remembrance for Veterans and those impacted by war. This is often a time of reflection, developing a deeper understanding of where we have been, so that we know where we are going. Sometimes we can see where we would like to make changes but are unsure of how, or where to start.  


Where are you in your ongoing journey of wellness?

Where have you been?  

Where would you like to go? 


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is highly recommended for those living with SAD; however, is also effective for generalized depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and pain management. CBT is designed to help you build resilience and strengthen your mental health by challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions. It focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviours. 


An important part of CBT is mindfulness, which is the practice of returning to the present moment, without reaction to, or judgment of, your thoughts, feelings, surrounding environment, and bodily sensations. This means bringing your awareness into the here and now; letting go of what was or what will be but being in what is. Mindfulness helps to interrupt the cycle of racing thoughts, rebalance cognitive distortions and create opportunities for more accurate, realistic, balanced thinking. Since our thoughts impact our feelings and influence behaviours, having a clear mind where we operate from a place of authenticity rather than fear, anger, or stress, allows for more accurate interpretations of the world around us, and within. We then feel better, and therefore do better.  


Care For All in Education, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, is thrilled to announce a FREE 5-week Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Mindfulness (CBTm) course will be available again, from November 9-December 7, from 1-3:30pm via zoom.


Participants will learn more about: 


  • the CBT model and realistic thinking 
  • relaxation strategies/mindfulness practices 
  • healthy living and sleeping strategies 
  • anger and assertiveness 
  • self-compassion 
  • problem-solving 
  • goal setting 
  • coping with stressful experiences 


Registration is available on and/or or call 1.877.602.1660. 


You are also invited to connect with a Wellness Specialist for free mental health support and service navigation to help access mental health services and resources based on your need and preferences.  


Email: or call 1.877.602.1660