Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that normally occurs in the winter months when the days are shorter and there is less sunlight. SAD can affect people who exhibit normal mental health throughout the rest of the year. Some of the most common signs and symptoms or SAD are lack of interest in activities, over sleeping, over eating, or having little to no energy. Luckily, there are many natural remedies to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Disclaimer: this article is meant for educational purposes only and is not to be used as medical advice. Always check with your doctor first before trying any new treatments and to determine if natural remedies are right for you.
Top Natural Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Light therapy is one of the most common natural ways to treat SAD. Sunlight is so important in our mental health and can help treat depression and low energy. Of course, in the winter sunlight is not always an option, which is why there is light therapy. You can purchase a Lightbox that mimics sunlight for light therapy to help treat your SAD. Keep in mind not all light boxes are made the same and the risk of UV exposure is a factor, which is why it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about what to order and if it is safe for you to use first.
We normally get vitamin D from the sun, however in the winter months this is not always an option which is why using vitamin D supplements can help improve your seasonal depression.
Eat less Simple Carbs and Sugars
Simple carbs like flour and sugar cause quick imbalances in your blood sugar levels which has been known to worsen depression symptoms such as irritability, brain fog, and low energy. Try limiting the amount of simple carbs and sugars you eat in the winters months to help fight seasonal depression. Try eating more protein, health fats (like nuts), and vegetables which improve energy levels and support stable moods.
Get moving and stay active in the winter. When we exercise our bodies release endorphins, aka the “feel good” hormone which helps improve mood and decrease depression. Doing at least 30 mins of activity a day can help boost your mood and help lessen your seasonal depression.
Make sure you are eating enough foods rich in vitamin B12 which helps improve energy and neurological functioning of the body. Believe it or not, but vegetarians are at an increased risk of SAD due to low vitamin B12 levels which is common in most vegetarians. This is because red meats are rich in vitamin B12 and vegetarians are not ingesting these foods. This can easily be fixed by making sure use are eating other foods rich in vitamin B12 or taking a daily supplement.
So, there you have the best natural remedies to help with SAD.
If you believe that you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, talk to your healthcare provider and see if these simple natural remedies are right for you. Not all seasonal affective disorders are the same and some people may benefit from anti-depressants such as SSRI’s to help them through the winter months. Never be afraid to speak about how you are feeling with your healthcare provider because there is usually something that can be done to help you feel better, whether it be natural or medicinal.
If you are looking for more natural remedies to help your mental health check out this post HERE!