Seasonal depression can be a problem for many. Let us help you beat the winter blues!
Winter is here! Winter brings in family and fun; however, as winter goes on, reality begins to set in. Daylight is shorter and darkness is longer, which means we are waking up when it’s dark out and leaving work when it’s dark out. There is now barely anytime to spend outdoors in natural sunlight. The lack of sunlight and cold temperatures leaves most people wanting to stay indoors.
Staying indoors, the gray skies, cold temperatures, and snow make it easy to fall into the winter blues. Here are some ways to help raise your spirits during this time of year.
Using light therapy with full spectrum lights used to mimic sunlight helps fight depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Light therapy affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. This can be a good tool to fight sleep disorders. When we don’t get enough light, it affects our mood and health. Light helps regulate the natural rhythms of our body and mind. When our circadian rhythms are disrupted, it can affect our sleep, mood, and cognitive functions. This is because we naturally follow a day-to-night sleep cycle. One type of light therapy, also known as bright light therapy, offers high levels of light exposure under controlled conditions. Light therapy can be used instead of medication for people with seasonal and nonseasonal depression, bipolar depression, and depression during pregnancy. Research says it’s effective in treating insomnia, ADD (ADHD), and dementia.
If there is a time of year you should take supplements, it is in the winter months. This is essential for boosting your immunity, so you are thriving during cold and flu season. In the winter, it is important to supplement your diet with vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced naturally in your skin when you are exposed to sunlight. This vitamin is important in immune function, for normal growth of bones and teeth, and helps fight certain diseases. Generally, you want to take about 1000-2000IU a day of vitamin D in winter.
Vitamin D also helps fight depression, which helps people suffering from the winter blues. Vitamin C is also important to take since it is high in antioxidants, which helps fight the risk of disease. Taking vitamin C boosts the immune system and encourages the production of white blood cells that help fight infections. Another good supplement to take is a B vitamin complex. These vitamins help reduce stress, boost mood, reduce fatigue, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Sunwarrior’s RAW vitamins for HIM and HER offer the supplemental you need to have to help beat seasonal depression.
During the winter, increase the number of citrus fruits you include in your diet, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit. These are all high in Vitamin C naturally. While most people like to practice eating in season, it’s still beneficial to get in your citrus fruits throughout the year. Consuming all fruit, not just citrus is important. Smoothies are an easy way to get a high amount of your daily fruit intake. Adding berries to your diet, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries flood your body with antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight against disease.
Essential oils are an easy, safe way to reap the benefits of various oils to improve mood, sleep, and immunity. Citrus fruit oils are great for uplifting mood. Lavender is great for relaxing, helping to sleep, and depression. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, and oregano oil are all good for boosting the immune system. You can use a diffuser for your oils or roll on your body with a carrier oil.
Exercise is a great way to boost your mood, as it naturally releases happy hormones: aka endorphins. You want to aim to move your body 20 to 30 minutes a day. If you are stuck inside, clean the house, do the laundry, have a dance party, do yoga, or watch an online exercise video.
If you go outside, shovel the driveway, take the dog for a walk, go for a walk or run. Go for a nature hike in the snow, or go to the beach (just make sure to bundle up!). Embrace outdoor winter activities like building a snowman, going tobogganing, skiing, or snowboarding.
Embrace the Season
Where we live, there are four seasons. Make it a goal to embrace each season for the joys they bring. Winter is the perfect time to spend indoors doing all the things you love like cooking and baking. Catch up on your favorite TV shows, read new books, grab a cozy blanket, and make a warm drink. Now is also the perfect time to catch up on book reading and begin journaling.
Another way to embrace the season is by learning a new skill or taking an online course. Even host a party, just because it’s winter!
STARTING YOUR PATH TO HEALTHY LIVING
At the end of the day, there is a lot that goes into a holistic lifestyle. When you start your journey to healthier living, there seems to be so much information to weed through. It can be confusing and difficult to determine what you should focus on first.
That’s why we’ve developed a short 15 Point Guide to Essential Health. Take charge of your health, and, with a little help, you’ll be living a more fulfilled life in no time.