It's not uncommon to experience shifts in mood and energy levels during the winter months. For some people (including me) you can develop a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a form of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months. I recently read that it affects 5% of adults in the US!!! If you are struggling... I'm here to help!
While the exact cause of SAD is not fully understood, researchers believe it's linked to changes in sunlight exposure, which can disrupt our circadian rhythms and serotonin levels.
Read below for some tips that I share with my clients and also personally use when I'm feeling low:
Sunlight Therapy (Light Therapy): Harness the power of light to combat SAD symptoms. Light therapy involves sitting in front of a lightbox that emits bright, full-spectrum light similar to natural sunlight. This exposure can help regulate your body's internal clock and boost mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. I actually have a brand of light called a Happy Light. It does take some getting used to. You begin slowly and gradually increase your time with the light but it definitely works.
Get Moving: Exercise is a natural mood lifter, so get moving! Whether it's a brisk walk on the treadmill or a yoga session in your living room, physical activity releases endorphins and serotonin, helping to alleviate symptoms of depression. During the winter months I strive to get my blood flowing EVERY single day!
Nutrition: Maintain a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and B vitamins. Incorporate foods such as fatty fish (my fav salmon recipe ), leafy greens, nuts, and seeds into your meals.
Get Social: Don't underestimate the power of human connection. It can feel so easy to stay snuggled at home in your sweats but try to push yourself to schedule social activities. Reach out to friends and loved ones for support and consider joining a book club, workout class, or even scheduling some lunch or coffee dates with friends.
Remember, you're not alone in your battle against Seasonal Affective Disorder. Start by incorporating these natural remedies into your daily routine and I know you'll feel a bit lighter.