As winter drags on, we battle the cold, the snow, and the sludge. We are sometimes left without sunlight, 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), also known as seasonal depression, strikes over 11 million Americans a 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.
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. The sun often hides in winter for so much of the day, we are forced to wake up without and get through our daily routine. With a lightbox, we trick our body to return to the normal circadian rhythm of rising with the sun. There are even alarm clocks that now 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.
Keep moving. Exercise is a fantastic way to boost your mood almost immediately. Endorphins flow, sweat is released, 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 jump start on happiness in the winter.
Talk It Out
There are plenty of hotlines that have support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with anyone struggling with seasonal depression. These hotlines are staffed with trained volunteers that can help anyone who is feeling down.Never hesitate to call, a listening ear will always be available.
These suggestions are again, only suggestions. Always consult a doctor before changing your routine in any way. To keep warm this winter, please check out our excellent rates on natural gas. Saving money always brings a smile to everyone’s face. Only a few more weeks till spring!