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Lately in our neck of the woods the weather has been hovering around the zero mark Fahrenheit so might not be possible when every day. Even if it’s cold, taking a walk down the road and drinking in the natural daylight will help improve your mood.
2. Get a blue light box or special SAD lamp
Light therapy has been reported to work in 80% of all cases of SAD. Some research shows that blue light may be slightly more effective at reducing seasonal affective disorder symptoms than other types of light.
Doctors recommend sitting near your light box for 30 minutes each morning.
3. Take a vitamin D supplement.
Wintertime is terrible for getting enough sunlight to help your body produce it’s own vitamin D the way it should. As a society we spend an immense amount of time indoors under artificial light which does nothing for our well being. Our food sources though fortified with essential vitamins and minerals are lacking at best in their ability to provide enough of what we need to sustain our mood and mental clarity, let alone our overall health. Vitamin D is critical to the body’s ability to absorb calcium for healthy bones and vascular system. One study conducted during winter on 44 people without seasonal affective disorder found that vitamin D supplements produced improvements in various measures of mood.
Thanks to Dalvia Wellness Labs I received a complimentary bottle of Vitamin D3 Liquid Drops. They were easy to add to any meal and even in between if I felt we needed it. The liquid is just like water so I had to be careful not to dispense too much as it did tend to turn my stomach a bit if I accidentally took too much. One drop in a glass of milk or water with a meal or snack that contained some fat – like olive oil or nut butter – was an easy, pill-free way to get D3 without the benefit of direct exposure to the sun.
4. Eat more complex carbohydrates.
5. Let the light shine in
Ask any cat and they’ll show you the best place to be during the day is in front of a brightly lit window. Even when it’s cold we can still have stunningly beautiful sunny days. Take advantage of that and keep your curtains pulled open and the shades up all day. If there’s something blocking your view – do what you can to move it or trim it back. If you can so some light redecorating to make your surroundings light and cheery. Do your best to keep your surroundings clutter free every day.
6. Go out with friends and family
7. Make your bed every day.
8. Take a winter vacation.
Save up your frequent flyers miles and vacation time for the winter months, not the summer months. If you can’t stand the cold, a February trip to Florida or California can be just what you need to make it through the brutal sleet ‘n’ snow season. Or if snow is kind of your fancy, escape to a cabin or make a skiing trip. Getting a change of scenery in the winter is seriously underrated!
9. Get some exercise.
Sleeping until noon on winter Saturdays feels heavenly, but if you can, try to adhere to a regular sleeping schedule. Because face it, spending a whole day in bed only makes you feel guilty about all that stuff you should be doing. Right? Right.
11. Limit your caffeine intake.
Soda with caffeine spikes your insulin levels and drops blood sugar levels, contributing to a sense of fatigue. All of that caffeinated coffee and tea can be dehydrating too. Blerg.
12. If your symptoms are persistent, visit your primary care physician.
Even though some people might dismiss SAD as mere “winter blues,” there’s no shame in seeing a therapist or doctor if your symptoms aren’t relenting. Your health professional will walk you through your options, which might include a regimen of light therapy, psychotherapy, or anti-depression medication.