Whether you have seasonal Affective Disorder or plain old winter blahs, these ideas can help
With the end of daylight savings time and the longer nights and shorter days of winter, many people may experience symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a condition that typically affects people in the colder, darker months. Symptoms may include sadness, moodiness, and a lack of energy that begins in the fall and continues through winter.
As a mental health condition, SAD is more than just feeling down about the cold and gloom of the winter months. It can keep you down and affect your mood for prolonged periods. If you suspect you might have this disorder, consider seeing someone who can help.
There are a number of holistic remedies that can help with symptoms of SAD as well as the common winter blues. Here are some to try:
Lighten Up! – Try to get outside as often as you can to soak up more light when the weather permits. Try taking a walk every day that you’re able, keeping window shades open, and setting your workstation up near a window if you can. Another option is light therapy using light boxes specifically designed to emit light about 20 times brighter than typical indoor lights. Light therapy is usually recommended for about 30 minutes a day and tends to be the most useful first thing in the morning. The goal is to mimic the light you’d normally get outside during the sunnier seasons of the year.
Get Moving – Exercise is a great holistic health practice that can help with most health issues. Regular exercise can increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can help fight off seasonal sadness. So get moving today, whether it’s a walk around the block, a bike ride, or a hike in the mountains. Any form of exercise will do the trick.
Eat Healthy – Research shows that healthy nutrition is an important part of holistic healing for SAD. Choose recipes that contain natural mood boosters, such as:
- Dark leafy greens – These often contain vitamin B12, which supports energy production in the body!
- Dark chocolate – The flavonoids in dark chocolate are known to reduce stress-causing hormones.
- Fish – Omega-3s and vitamin D-rich fish can improve your mood because they boost dopamine and serotonin levels.
- Nuts and seeds – These protein-rich foods also provide helpful omega-3s.
- Avocados – These healthy-fat-filled treats are full of calming tryptophan.
- Turmeric – A 2017 study found that curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric, reduced symptoms of depression.
Balance Your Energy With Energy Healing – Releasing negative emotional energy that may be holding you back is another great way to prevent symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or at least reduce their severity. Energy healing with The Emotion Code® and The Body Code™ can help you let go of those Trapped Emotions and create more space for joy.
Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy is another holistic health remedy that may help those experiencing seasonal blues. Smells are connected to the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods, so good smells can trigger positive responses in your body. Add a few drops of essential oils to your bath at night, or combine them with oil to rub on your skin! Make sure you read up on appropriate doses and uses.
Mindfulness and other mind-body practices – Mindfulness practices can also help holistically heal Seasonal Affective Disorder. Try practices such as yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, and setting positive affirmations. Setting an intention each morning to approach the day from a positive perspective can transform your life!
Through a little mindfulness, gratitude, imagination, creativity, and courage, you can turn the winter blues into beautiful memories.
-Dr. Bradley Nelson