Are you feeling S.A.D.?
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Not everyone suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. But, if you do, its no joke and can take a real toll on your quality of life during the cold dark winter months.
Symptoms can vary from person to person. You may feel a little more sluggish or fatigued than usual, your concentration or focus may fade quickly; you might find you need more sleep or are craving foods. Maybe it’s feeling less motivated than usual, or even being a little cranky or impatient with others.
I used to feel all these and more. I’d be in my pajamas before dinner and seldom would go out in the evenings. No matter how early I went to bed, I didn’t want to get up the next morning.
I was miserable from the end of October until the days became longer at the end of winter. It took me a while to understand what was happening and to learn that it didn’t have to be this way.
And it doesn’t have to be this way for you either!
Here are three ways that I’ve found to beat the winter blues!
Let there be Light!!
Find any way possible to increase your exposure to natural light. One of the triggers to Seasonal Affective Disorder is the decreased sunlight. So open up those shades and blinds during the day and go outside and get some sun on your face for 15-20 minutes each day. When it’s really cold out, park your car in direct sunlight and take in the rays from the comfort of your heated car. Schedule appointments or errands at midday so you are out and about in peak daylight hours. Do anything you can to be out in the sunshine and daylight.
When that’s not possible, try a light therapy lamp or lightbox. These products mimic beneficial sunlight without the harmful UV rays. Key features to look for are units with broad spectrum lighting that is designed to treat S.A.D and the right size and shape to allow you to conveniently use it on a daily basis. Effective light therapy requires consistent daily use. Happylight by Verilux is the light that I use.
Our bodies take the sun’s rays and convert them to Vitamin D. This time of year it’s impossible to get enough sun to produce adequate amounts of Vitamin D. it’s important to make up for this with a high-quality Vitamin D supplement. Low levels of Vitamin D can produce symptoms consistent with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Vitamin D supports the health of your immune system, brain, bones, teeth, lungs and heart. Low levels of Vitamin D can make you feel tired and fatigued and have been linked to depression.
Here’s how I stay ahead of this. In the fall when we change the clocks back and put new batteries in the smoke detectors, I also increase my Vitamin D intake. Here is the Vitamin D supplement that I take myself and recommend for you.
B Vitamins are known as the “happy vitamins”. They support and nourish your brain and nervous system while helping you cope with stress, and can improve mood. They also help your body convert food to fuel while helping to manage blood sugar. B vitamins are used up very quickly by the body and can easily become depleted. And, your body doesn’t have the ability to store B Vitamins so you have to take in adequate amounts of B Vitamins each and every day.
Here’s the B-Complex supplement that we take in my household. It’s a well-balanced supplement that contains all the B Vitamins your body needs.
Exercise has been proven to lift mood and ease symptoms of mild depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. And if you take that exercise out into the fresh air and sunshine the benefits multiply. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing are great examples of fun outdoor activities and are a great source of aerobic exercise.
If a moderate walk is more your speed then try a lunchtime walk. Lunchtime is peak time for the best sun this time of year. A 30-minute walk outside will help to increase blood flow, send lots of freshly oxygenated blood to your brain, release endorphins -the “happy” hormones, reduce stress, and will give you exposure to natural light.
Also, remember that beneficial movement doesn’t have to be the form of exercise. Dance is a great way to get that endorphin rush while making it fun. If dance isn’t your thing, find something else you enjoy that gets you up and moving.
I’d love to hear how these tips work for you. Drop me an email at Sharon@vitalizedwellness.com or leave a comment right here on this post.
Wishing you a bright and sunny winter!
As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, I’ve taken more than twenty-five years of client work and personal life experience to create a proven system to help you live the vibrant healthy life you desire.
I want you to know…It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way.
- Clarify your vision for a healthier, thinner, and happier you!
- Identify what has gotten in your way in the past (it’s not always what you think)
- Map out the next right steps for you to live the vibrant healthy life you so desire.