Updated: Nov 17, 2021
Tips on how to beat SAD (seasonal affected disorder)
Seasonal affected depression usually starts in the fall and beginning of winter and ends spring or early summer. No doubt the shortness of days, lack of sunlight, staying indoors, less socialization and a few other things contribute to SAD.
The winter blues suck and it has bothered me for a long time. After having children and becoming a stay at home mom, it started to really affect me more than ever. So, of course, I made some changes to help support myself and my family!! First, let me say that any depression or mood disorders, seasonal, or otherwise should be addressed by a quality and trusted practitioner. These are just a few things that have either helped me personally, or have been suggested by other qualified, knowledgeable sources! HEALTHY DIET Duh, right? Yeah, easier said than done when Fall and Winter are greeted with holidays dedicated to candy, pies, cookies and carbs, lots of carbs... Enjoy yourself but try not to over do it with the sugar. Eat those veggies! DARK LEAFY GREENS are you besties! Spinach, mustard greens, collard etc. Other vitamin B rich foods to help you through this time includes beef, poultry, tuna, beans, lentils, bananas, nutritional yeast, and brewers yeast. (Also organ meats is a big one if you are brave, I’m not). Fermented foods help boost serotonin and boost your microbiome. Fatty fish for those omega fatty acids and as always---STAY HYDRATED! SUPPLEMENTS Without a DOUBT supplements have played a HUGE factor in our overall health. Consider adding Vitamin D3, a vitamin B Complex and omega 3 fatty acids, to your day! Though vitamins are an amazingly helpful and safe choice, as always best to know your body, research and consult some experts what are the right supplements FOR YOU. Make sure you invest in quality supplement brands, know who owns the company, know what types and doses work for you. Health support is not one size fits all, we all need a little more here or a little less there. Set up a plan that works for YOU. BE SOCIAL It is not news to us that isolation impacts our mental health. Studies show isolation has a long term psychological impact on people. So prioritize seeing your friends and family, visit fall and winter festivals, Christmas lights, dine out, etc… get out or stay in but make sure to connect with your tribe! GO OUTSIDE I am not the happiest out in the snow, but the cool fresh air and sunshine does great things! Cooler temperatures boost your brain function and help you think clearly. In addition, cold temperatures help fight inflammation and improver your overall health many other ways, and if you feel healthier you overall mental health improves as well.
Artificial light simulators and phototherapy light boxes may be able to help your circadian rhythm.
Sitting in front of a lightbox for about a half hour each day can boost your mood and alleviate seasonal depression symptoms.
ESSENTIAL OILS & AUROMATHERAPY
Bergamot and other citrus essential oils can be applied topically or diffused to help combat seasonal blues. (Not all oils are created equal, there are very cheap and crappy oils out there. Make sure to purchase quality oils!)
GO ON VACATION
This is my mother’s go to. She visits somewhere warm and sunny any chance she gets. If you can, do it!
Alcohol is a depressant. Nothing wrong with celebrating for the holidays or enjoying a drink here or there. But if you are already feeling down, best to avoid. Alcohol is a very touchy subject. Any dependency on alcohol should be addressed to a trusted and quality physician and therapist. But most of all TAKE CARE OF YOU. We all have tons of things on our to do list, little people, husbands, parents, friends, neighbors, pets, the house, bills, and everything else. We all know we cannot pour from an empty cup. Please leave a comment below telling me what helps you fight off the winter blues!!! Health & Happiness! Anastasia