Overcoming Seasonal Depression the Natural Way
Down in the dumps? Feeling down this winter? You aren’t the only one, it could be seasonal depression. No wonder people always say that winter is depressing. Check out these great tips for naturally overcoming seasonal depression and cheer up – summer will be here soon! 🙂
How to overcome seasonal depression
Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD, can hit people much harder in winter.
People affected by it often feel down in the cold and dark, but are back to their usual selves come summer. While medical intervention may be necessary for extreme cases of SAD, many milder cases can be treated effectively at home using natural techniques, such as those listed here.
So go ahead and check out these tips for naturally overcoming seasonal depression!
Let in the Sun
The main cause of seasonal affective disorder is a decrease in the amount of natural light the body receives during the winter months. Because most parts of the country become colder, most of us spend more time indoors, and with an indoor job, you don’t see the sun much of the day.
However, those with SAD should let the sunlight indoors by opening curtains and blinds whenever possible. Installing skylights and trimming tree branches away from windows is also something you can do to let in more light.
This might be the most effective way at naturally overcoming seasonal depression.
Those who are still not getting enough sunlight can try a light box, which gives out a different wavelength of light than typical indoor light bulbs do. Professionals recommend sitting in front of a light box for 30 minutes each morning.
Another option is a dawn simulator that gradually awakens you by increasing the amount of light coming from a bulb. This can help to regulate sleep cycles and circadian rhythms.
Because weight gain is a part of SAD, it is vital for you to get outside and exercise as often as possible. Going for a jog, playing with children in the snow, and walking a dog are all great options.
Those who cannot get outside due to cold conditions should head to the gym and work out near a window for natural sunlight.
Moving around and taking care of your body is a big part of feeling better more naturally.
Get Some Warm Fuzzies
One great tip for naturally overcoming seasonal depression is to literally go out and find a furry friend if you can. Spending time with animals like dogs and cats has been proven to release feel-good hormones like serotonin and prolactin in your brain.
If you have a pet, make time each day to spend with them, whether it’s a long walk or jog, or just some nightly cuddles. If you don’t have a pet of your own see if you can play with a friend’s or neighbors.
You could also volunteer at an animal shelter to give you warm fuzzies in more ways than one.
If you tend to have a lot of negative feelings in the winter, make an effort to express them. Whether you paint, write, play an instrument, or just journal every night, creating or doing something artistic, and getting out all you have to say can help improve your mood.
Creative artwork is great for exercising your mind and can help you to feel more motivated and focused.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is important for your health and for naturally overcoming seasonal depression. Both mentally and physically, you will perform better and feel happier when you are well rested.
A good amount is really up to you. Some people work best with only seven hours of sleep a night while others might need more. If you tend to have a lapse of grogginess during the day try a quick cat nap for some added relief.
You can use sleep aids to help if you have trouble getting to bed at night, and try to get yourself on a regular schedule with reminders and alarms.
When these methods do not provide enough relief, natural supplementation may be in order. Melatonin helps regulate sleep cycles, while St John’s Wort has long been used for depression. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are also a safe antidote for depression when taken in moderation.
Talk to a local apothecary or pharmacy to see what other natural herbs and supplements might help you to feel more energized and alert. It could be as easy as buying a new morning tea.
Of course, if these natural alternatives do not ease the feeling of depression that you have, see a trusted doctor or a professional who is credited from an applied behavior analysis program online.
These professionals can provide talk therapy, medications, and other therapies that can relieve these negative feelings and get you back to feeling normal.
Getting treatment professionally or naturally is the best thing you can do to feel like yourself again, rather than just sticking it out until summer again.
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