As winter drags on, we battle the cold, the snow, and the sludge. We are sometimes left without sunlight and stuck with gray days and long nights. Outdoor activities are limited, if enjoyed at all. All these factors can make a miserable few months seem never ending. A creeping, melancholy emotion can set in and not leave till April. You are not alone. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) strikes over 11 million Americans per year. Here are a few ways to beat the blues. Please note: these are only suggestions to naturally help combat signs of SAD, please consult your doctor before taking any medications or supplements, or starting any treatments.
Create Some Light
Look into purchasing an artificial sunlight “lightbox”. Several retailers offer affordable versions of the light therapy stands. (Think around $40). The key to using the lightboxes is exposure early in the morning, when you first rise. During winter, the sun often hides for so much of the day that we are forced to wake up and get through our daily routine without it. With a lightbox, we trick our body to returning to the normal, natural circadian rhythm of rising with the sun. There are even alarm clocks that mimic the sunrise with your morning wake up call.
Supplement Everyday Life
Sunlight offers our body Vitamin D, we soak it up in the spring and summer, and tend to be deficient during winter. Vitamins can close that gap. Vitamin D helps you sleep better through the night, as well as helping keep your heart, your bones, and your immunity.
St. John’s Wart is also offered as a natural mood stabilizer.
Exercise is also a fantastic way to boost your mood almost immediately. Sweat is released, endorphins flow, and you feel more focused and awake than when you started. The hard part is beginning. If you don’t want to brave the outdoors, try a free YouTube video. Start with 10-20 minutes and work your way up from there. Even just stretching will give you a jumpstart on happiness in the winter.
These suggestions are, again, only suggestions. Always consult a doctor before changing your routine. Only a few more weeks till spring!