Seasonal Affective Disorder: 5 Ways to Dodge the Winter Blues
For many people, the joys of watching snow and cuddling on the couch in the winter months are a treat. For others, the darkness and frigidness creates an undeniable sense of melancholy. Although seasonal mood swings seem to be a non-issue, they actually may have a huge affect on your emotional well-being.
If your moods seem to directly correlate with the changing of seasons, you may be one of the millions of Americans that suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to mayoclinic.com, SAD is a classified type of depression that occurs in certain times of year, generally during the winter months. It’s also more common in women than in men.
Luckily, the winter blues don’t have to put a 3-5 month damper on your life. Here are 5 ways to combat seasonal affective disorder with a vengeance.
Exercise: The endorphins released by exercise are powerful for relieving stress and anxiety. Make exercise a “must” in the winter months. Also make sure that exercise is not forced. Whether it’s running, walking the dog, or yoga, aim to consistently do activities you genuinely enjoy.
Take Vitamin D: Because days are shorter in the winter months, the chances of spending time in the sun diminish. This reduces the production of vitamin D, essential for higher levels of serotonin, in our bodies. Try taking a vitamin D supplement to replace time lost in the sun. The recommended dosage varies from person to person, but an average dose ranges from 200-400 IU per day.
Light Therapy: Light therapy is another alternative for the body to produce more vitamin D in the darker months. Light boxes simulate the suns intensity, promoting feelings of happiness and well-being. Tools for Wellness has a number of great light boxes to cope with SAD.
Air Ionizer: Because the winter months cause us to stay indoors, it’s important that the air in your living spaces is clean and free of pollutants. Air ionizers work to reduce the airborne germs and pollutants that get trapped deep in the lungs. Purifying the air in your home or office is a natural relaxant and mood enhancer because it aids in cleaner and deeper breathing. Check out some of the air ionizers on Tools for Wellness.
Healthy Eating: It’s not uncommon to crave high-carb comfort foods in the winter months. Whether it’s the abundance of delicious foods at holiday functions, or our body’s natural desire to create insulation from the cold. Don’t stress over a few pounds, but aim to eat as many healthy and nutrient-dense foods as possible.
If you prepare properly, winter can be a beautiful time of year full of great memories, relaxation, and reflection. By integrating these remedies into your routine, you increase your chances to not only survive, but thrive in the cold months.
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