It’s only September, and already the daylight hours are waning. By the time we reach the winter equinox, our world will be almost wholly cast in darkness. The lack of daylight hours can make one feel sluggish, blue, and feeling the need to hibernate. But if you suffer from SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, the beginning of winter can trigger a deep depression that extends beyond the “winter blues.” If you suffer from SAD, some at-home therapies can make significant improvements to your mood and overall well-being.
#1: SAD Light
Light therapy has been proven to cheer people up in the winter months. Light therapy lamps are designed to simulate the sun’s brightness while emitting vitamin D, which is usually in short supply that time of year. Speak to your doctor about how to use your SAD light, and be sure to use it regularly every day to optimize the effect. You usually only need 20 to 60 minutes a day of concentrated brightness.
And while we’re on the subject of light, it’s important to maximize your sun exposure when you can. Trim any hedges that are blocking windows, spend time outside, or take a trip somewhere warm and sunny.
#2: St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herbal remedy that has been known to lighten one’s mood. While we don’t suggest you take St. John’s Wort without speaking to your doctor first, we do know that this herb has been used as a traditional mood elevator for many years. You can find this herb in capsule form at any pharmacy or natural food store.
#3: Exercise Equipment
When we exercise, our bodies naturally produce happy chemicals called endorphins. Exercise itself doesn’t just improve your mood but having a health goal can give you something positive to work toward. If your goal is to get in better shape, your progress will give you a sense of accomplishment and happiness. Join a gym or buy a few pieces of at-home exercise equipment.
Plant therapy is often touted as a simple remedy to cure all levels of winter blues. Maintaining one’s connection to nature, even in the dead of winter, can be enough to stabilize feelings of depression. The negative ions produced by plants imitate air purifiers, while the smell and look of lively green leaves can instantly cheer you up like a warm spring day.
If you or someone you know is prone to feelings of depression during the long winter months, it might be time to visit the doctor to find out if seasonal affective disorder is the cause. With just a few simple and non-invasive at-home remedies, you can combat SAD all winter long and learn to love the darker season. Shop for your SAD products at Healthcare Solutions or find the closest location near you.