HA! Well, it’s that time of year again in the US (unless you live in AZ), when we gain an extra hour on Sunday, which I love. But it takes my body at least 2 weeks to start acclimating to the new routine, so I’m not a big fan overall of the springing forward/falling back and think the country should just pick one and stick with it. I even featured a post last year about the ill effects going thru springing forward can have on us.
Anyway, as daylight decreases and the time change makes darkness seem to come even earlier, I have a natural urge to almost hibernate or start spinning a cocoon :-), and for some people it can even trigger mild to severe depression. Aside from seeking anti-depressant pharmaceuticals from a doctor, there are other ways — without side effects — to boost mood and alleviate some SAD symptoms.
Here are some things from Easy Health Options that can help someone deal with or counteract the winter blues:
Light therapy involves exposure to artificial light that mimics the natural outdoor light that is sorely lacking during the winter months.
The devices are called light boxes and are made by a number of manufacturers. They can range in price from around $40 on up. Some light boxes use white light, while others use blue light. There is more research supporting the use of bright white light than blue light to help with SAD symptoms.
If you decide to try light therapy, it’s important to look for a light box designed to filter out most UV light.
The effectiveness of light therapy depends on daily use. You’d want to situate your light box in an area where you can be within two feet of it for at least 30 minutes each day, preferably in the morning. If you have an office job, you could consider keeping it on your desk and using it for the first half hour you work. At home maybe you’d prefer to put in on a coffee table or side table while you read a book.
Get plenty of vitamin D
Did you know scientists believe there is a link between vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, and depression? It makes perfect sense when you consider the amount of natural vitamin D you get from sun changes with the seasons.
An Oregon study showed that young adult women with lower levels of vitamin D had greater incidences of depression over the course of a five-week study. The researchers concluded that some women could simply get more vitamin D and prevent depressive mood states.
The National Institutes of Health‘s recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IUs a day. But most alternative health practitioners will tell you that is woefully not enough, and that 4,000 IUs will do you better.
Eat mood-boosting foods
One 2013 study, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, examined the relationship between diet and mood in 281 young adults. In this study, participants who ate more fruits and vegetables felt calmer, happier and more energetic.
Junk and processed food can have the opposite effect. They stimulate short-term reward centers in the central nervous system. But over time, they can lead to dependency and mood imbalances, along with all-too-common long-term health consequences.
For a list of mood-boosting foods from Dr. Isaac Eliaz, click here.
Consider mood-boosting supplements and exercise
Dr. Michael Cutler recommends:
- Exercise and yoga. Exercise can work wonders against depressive symptoms. A study at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, shows that exercise can drag people out of major depression.
- Taking Hypericum extract (St. John’s wort) at 300mg three times daily.
- Taking fenugreek to enhance the effects of St John’s Wort.
- Supplementing with L-Tryptophan 1,500 mg to 3,000 mg twice daily between meals.
- Taking 5-HTP (hydroxyl tryptophane): 100-250 mg twice daily.
- Taking SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine) 400 to 800 mg twice daily, starting at low dose.
For more on how your health and mood are affected, read the Self-help Health posts about “jumping forward” and the ill effects of the time change:
And here are a number of free resources for you to consider taking advantage of….
Lloyd Burrell of ElectricSense.com will be interviewing expert Michael Neuert, who is going to talk about EMF shielding solutions, smart meter shielding, low cost shielding, how to shield your home electricity box, and more…..
And with all the tension and stress many people are feeling these days due to busy personal lives, the presidential election, Standing Rock, and multiple other situations, it’s nice to know this resource is available. It’s a short meditation by Mark Romero, whose music has been shown to provide healing benefits, to connect you to your breath and help you de-stress. You can also sign up for a free guided MP3 meditation to reduce stress and improve your state of mind. I really like the music in the background of the MP3 meditation.
Salud and enjoy that extra hour!
p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.
Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.