Do you feel the "winter blues"? Here are seven healthy ways to banish seasonal depression.
Do you feel the “winter blues”? Whether it’s true seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or simply being sick and tired of the cold, gray days, many of us feel low this time of year.
Everyone is a little different, but researchers believe that, in general, feelings of low mood and low energy in the winter are due to a drop in serotonin and a disruption in our circadian rhythms brought on by reduced sunlight. It’s very important to seek advice from your health care practitioner if you believe you may have depression to make sure you get the right treatment.
The following tips can make a difference for those who are feeling the seasonal funk that this time of year can bring.
1. Spend time with a loved one
It’s not surprising that friends and loved ones can brighten our outlook. Try to schedule regular “dates” to spend time with people who boost your mood and make you feel ready to take on anything. No one comes to mind? It may be time to detox your relationships or make some new friends.
2. Consider supplements
Speak to your health care practitioner before trying a new supplement to make sure it’s right for you—especially if you’re taking medication or supplements already. Some supplements that are thought to help SAD symptoms include adaptogens, melatonin, 5-HTP, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Get moving!
Exercising regularly can make a huge difference in SAD symptoms. If you’re tired of the gym, try our tips for a fun and happy workout or do something that will put a smile on your face, such as Zumba or partner yoga.
4. Turn up the light
It’s hard to find plenty of natural light this time of year, and not all of us can take off for a sunny vacation. However, light therapy is thought to work with few—if any—side effects, and devices are commercially available. Check with your health care practitioner to find one that works for you.
5. Nourish your body
Bingeing on chips and dip may help boost your mood temporarily, but providing your body with the wholesome nourishment it needs really can boost your mood. Eat a varied diet packed with plenty of fruits and veggies, and healthy fats.
6. Find your passion
Sometimes, all that we need for a mood refresher is a new passion. Check out volunteering opportunities in your area, or learn how to find your voice and become an activist for a cause you care deeply about.
7. Try mind-body therapies