Feeling upset or depressed is common, we all go through the ups and downs of life. However, there is a darker side to depression. I am sure you never thought season could have anything to do with you feeling down the dumps!
Have you noticed a cyclical pattern to your depression? Do you become depressed, moody, fatigued and overall disinterested in life around the same time each year? If you can identify with this statement, you can possibly be afflicted by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This unique kind of depression affects people in a cyclical pattern each year, mostly during autumn (fall) and winter. However, the other seasons might see you as a vibrant, active person.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Who is at risk?
Do you belong to any of these groups?
- Living in areas where winter daylight time is very short (polar areas)
- Living in areas where there are large fluctuations in sunlight during different seasons
- A woman between age 15 and 55
- A person with a family history of SAD
Research says that these factors cause a disturbance in a normal person’s sleep/wake cycle and levels of melatonin and serotonin. The clinical treatment is called phototherapy or exposure to light, which resets the body’s circadian clock. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help yourself at home. Now let’s learn those effective remedies for seasonal affective disorder.
Home Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder
1. Physical Activity:
Make sure you set apart a fixed time for daily exercise. It is vitally important to stay fit and active even if you don’t feel like it. Early morning hours works best. If you cannot venture outside, choose an indoor activity like stationary cycling, yoga, cardio workouts and Pilates. Exercise encourages the release of serotonin (body’s mood lifter).
2. Brighten Up:
Open the curtains, cut down branches and hedges that block light, brighten up the color coordination inside your home. In short, expose yourself to as much light and vibrant colors as you can. Studies suggest that painting your walls with bright colors or putting up murals will uplift your mood.
3. Eat Well:
Don’t let your blues get in the way of nutrition. Eat frequent light meals and try to include as much vitamins and antioxidants in your diet. This means eating at least one serving of fruits, nuts, fish, eggs and vegetables. Eating well ensures proper health and can make you feel better. However, avoid binging on sugary and fatty foods.
4. Don’t Cut Your Snoozing:
Even if your sleep/wake cycle is disturbed, maintain a proper going to bed time and waking up time. If you give in to the disrupted sleep pattern, you can aggravate SAD. Sleep a good eight hours, for the body needs enough rest to keep the mind calm. Believe, this also comes under seasonal affective disorder remedies.
5. Time For Friends:
Do not seclude yourself from friends and family. They only want to help. You will feel a lot better if you do not brood and rather spend time engaging in talking or just being in friendly company.
6. Vitamin D:
This vitamin group works towards maintaining the body’s circadian clock and levels of melatonin and serotonin. Because the body manufactures Vitamin D from sunlight sufferers of SAD need to take supplements to reap its benefits.
7. Hobby Time:
Ensure that you spend time engaging in activities that you enjoy; reading, indoor gardening, volunteer work, indoor swimming; whatever you like and enjoy, could be indulged in. It will boost your mood and keep your mind engaged. If no hobby appeals to you, simply turn on some soft music or watch flicks of your favorite genre.
8. Things To Avoid:
Avoid depression traps such as excess caffeine, alcohol, excessive sugar and too much moping. These will make your SAD elevate to extremes like suicidal thoughts. Instead indulge in activities like swimming and cycling and eat healthy, to steer clear from the effects of SAD.
9. Essential Oils:
If you need an instant mood lifter, try peppermint, lemon or lavender oils steeped in water. Inhale the vapors deeply. You will feel immediate relief. You can also simply add two to three drops of these oils and soak in a bath of warm water. Both your body and spirits will feel rejuvenated. Several naturopaths use this remedy to treat SAD. This can be one of the best natural remedies for seasonal affective disorder.
10. St. John’s Wort:
St. John’s Wort or Hypericum is a known anti depressant and its tincture is prescribed even by doctors. It can help revive your sleep pattern and lift your mood and has no side effects. This herb is easily available today and can be taken in small doses for relief from SAD.
So, don’t bury yourself in the winter blues. Try some of these methods to keep seasonal affective disorder at bay.
So do you suffer from SAD? What do you do to beat the blues? Do share your feedback with us!