With shorter days, colder weather and lack of sunlight it’s quite common to suffer from a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), better known as the winter blues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder shares a lot of typical depression symptoms such as ongoing sadness, bad moods, loss of interest and lack of motivation. However unlike typical depression symptoms, SAD can cause oversleeping instead of insomnia, weight gain instead of weight loss and agitation as opposed to feeling slowed down.
If you are prone to experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder there are a few natural options that you can try to combat feeling SAD.
Bright Light Therapy: This has been proven to be a particularly effective treatment for SAD, especially when done for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning. Bright light therapy is being exposed to a full-spectrum light with a brightness of 10,000 lux or more. It is important that it is a full-spectrum light as it is the same colour spectrum as sunlight, other kinds of light won’t work.
Vitamin D Supplements: Vitamin D supplements are a great way of helping to combat SAD, they are readily available from your local pharmacy and most supermarkets. In more severe cases you can receive a Vitamin D shot from your G.P.
Eat ‘Happy Foods’: We all know the importance of eating healthy, but did you know that it’s also essential for your mental health? Restricting your intake of high glycemic carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, doughnuts, cakes, processed breakfast cereals and white rice can be massively beneficial. Try and work mood boosting foods into your diet instead, such as berries, salmon, avocados, lean protein, dark leafy greens and saffron.
Control Automatic Negative Thoughts: It’s quite common for anyone with SAD to fall into unhealthy thinking patterns and experience automatic negative thoughts. Learning to be more conscious of the way you think can help you challenge any automatic negative thoughts that you have and reverse them into a more positive thought.
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