How to Beat the "Winter Blues" with natural solutions

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How to Beat the "Winter Blues" with natural solutions

Lots of people get depressed in winter or suffer from the "winter blues". The medical name for this winter depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Why am I feeling sad, tired, and so blue?

You may have what's called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

The condition is marked by the onset of depression during the late fall and early winter months, when less natural sunlight is available. It's thought to occur when daily body rhythms become out-of-sync because of the reduced sunlight. With less sunlight our bodies produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression."

Here are some natural ways to beat the blues this winter:

1. Make your environment brighter. Open the curtains and let in the light. When your body is craving more daylight, sitting next to an artificial light—also called a light box—for 30 minutes per day can be as effective as antidepressant medication.

Kristen Wootton, ND, stay hydrated, winter blues

Light Box

2. Check your vitamin D levels. Sunlight is a source of vitamin D, a nutrient linked to sharper thinking and better emotional health. Check with your doctor or Dr. Kristin, ND about whether a vitamin D supplement is right for you

3. Some people find that painting their walls a bright color — or even their nails — can improve their outlook. Scents can add to your feeling of well-being; try peppermint essential oil or some other energizing scent. All the citrus oils work well.

4. Feeling blue can make you desire foods high in fat, carbohydrates and sugar. But try to resist temptation. A carbohydrate-and sugar-rich diet will spike your blood sugar and then it will drop so you may feel more energized initially, but in the long run, your feelings of tiredness and moodiness can intensify. Eat healthy for better digestion and increased energy.

5. Get out and socialize. Being around family and friends can boost your mood and help motivate you to do the things you enjoy. Ask a friend to go to the movies or grab a cup of green tea with a co-worker.

Kristen Wootton, ND, winter blues

Socialize

6. Anxiety and stress often accompany the winter blues. To boost your energy and mood, try to relax. Take a meditation or yoga class or play some favourite music when working that lift your spirits.

If your symptoms are persisting consider a visit with Kristin Wootton ND to discuss the why’s and together come up with the best solution to get you back on track feeling happy and healthy once again.

Kristen Wootton, ND, winter blues

Dr. Kristin Wootton ND