Seasonal Affective Disorder: 3 natural remedies!
Seasonal Affective Disorder: New remedies to help you lose the blues this winter!
Old Man Winter has been on an extended, aggravating visit with us, donned with blizzard-like conditions and Snowmaggedon bursts, thanks for that, Sir Global Warming. We are fully engulfed in a season that affects us SADLY (seasonal affective disorder pun for you, right there), and Punxsutawney Phil just does not see a near end for it. If you are in your groove with snowboarding and feelin’ great-perfect, but if you start to feel like you are losing pieces of your soul as snow falls from the dimly lit sky- this is for you! We can manufacture happiness people! Or at least provide ourselves with a little extra vitamin D to crank up our noggins.
Seasonal Affective Disorder affects millions, especially in some of the chilliest parts of the country (which is everywhere outside of Phoenix and Miami this year) and is no joke. Typically SAD looks like depression but it can be hard to tell if you are experiencing it due to coping mechanisms. If you start to feel down, sometimes you might attribute it to external events, like a bad grade on a test or a fight with your best friend. Those instances may make you feel bad but SAD will show up a bit more consistently and drag your energy down. I know when I am experiencing this thoughtless beast I notice it in a one-two punch of low energy and aggravation, topped with a bit of crying at Hallmark commercials.
Great news- you do not have to accept being a sad-o and may be able to treat yourself quite easily with 3 natural remedies. Now, if you are suffering from other aspects of depression, like manic depression or long-term depression, please seek a physician or counselor to understand how you can treat it. If you tend to get a bit down in the grey weather though, here are some natural nuggets for you!
Light bulbs/ phototherapy: There are many brands that support this treatment (like that found on fullstrectrumsolutions.com) and essentially it is an artificial light simulating what the natural light can do for our bodies. This brightening can lift your mood like a tanning bed, sans skin cancer. If you do not want to purchase a light like this, consider some simple things you can do in your home or office- open the blinds, turn on your lights and move furniture away from any light source that might be blocking a little bit of your brightness. I also like to surround myself with white walls, white sheets and other bright, soft objects to trick my mind into thinking I am walking on the sun… if the sun were white. Whatever, it works.
Walkin’ on sunshine! I have a messy-looking dog who loves to take walks, regardless of the weather. She has been a fantastic excuse for getting out and getting my dose of the rays when they are present. Even on grey days a little walk or exercise of some kind will stimulate your adrenaline and get your heart pumping- all great things for beating the blues, especially if you get out within a couple of hours of waking. If you walk on your lunch break, even inside, you can chat with your friends and release some much needed stress that will instantly brighten your mood. Exercise is one of the favored natural remedies for so many things and even dancing in your bedroom can chase the blues away.
Natural Supplements. I am a big fan of harvesting vitamins from food, but you can also gain these herbs of happiness from the pill bottle. Some vitamins the experts have recommended are: Vitamin D, St. John’s Wart, and Omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to eat and drink your way through these remedies, you can with a glass of tea (St. J. Wart) mixed with a little milk (vitamin D) to chase down your salmon and nutty pilaf (Omega-3). Filling for your soul and your tummy!
According to the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org) seasonal affective disorder may occur because of a hitch in your biological clock (sleep patterns changing/circadian rhythm), serotonin levels and/or melatonin levels, which are all affected as the winter months steal our sunshine. If your depression persists, please do seek treatment and do not keep it to yourself. Like many of my articles, I cannot reinforce enough how much we depend on each other to live full, happy lives. It does not only take a community to raise a child, as the saying goes, it takes a community to lift your winter spirits as well. Keep hope alive my friends, and when in doubt, get in the car and drive to Miami. You are welcome Miami tourism commission.
Think you might have SAD but are not sure, try this test: http://www.depressedtest.com/