Ever notice how your mood changes during the winter months? Especially, after the holiday season when we are not running around shopping for gifts or attending holiday events. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects people during the winter months. According to Harvard Health Publishing, this condition accounts for about 10% of all cases of major depression and occurs mostly in women.
I feel the most alive when I can go spend a day at the beach and sink my feet into the warm sand while the sun beams down on me. That is my favorite place to be. Does the fact that I was born in the middle of August have anything to do with my love of the summer month? Possibly. Then again, I am sure if I was in the company of a tall handsome male, I could be convinced to love winter.
5 ways to ease those SAD symptoms
Light Therapy works by reducing melatonin secretion from the pineal gland during the day. At night, the melatonin secretion is increased. People who are sensitive to melatonin are likely to have symptoms of depression. Light therapy helps to increase activity in individuals who are otherwise low in energy and lack motivation to do anything. Experts say that a light therapy box with a brightness at about 10,000 lux for 15 minutes a day keeps the depression away! Depending on the severity of SAD you might need to increase your time.
B-12 vitamins helps to fight depression by converting proteins from your diet and shifting your mood and elevating your energy. It’s important to make sure you are eating a balanced diet and getting your daily does of B-12. An excellent source of B-12 is beef, poultry, eggs, wholegrains, lentils, bananas, and dark leafy vegetables. It is not found in heavy doses in plants which makes it a concern for strict vegans. You should consult a registered dietician to make sure you are taking the right dose.
Journaling is a great way to release any negative thoughts you are carrying around. It is a good way to process your feelings and understand what is going on. When you must take a pencil to paper you are forced to focus and in doing so you are letting go of any emotional or mental issues you are holding onto that could be contributing to your irritability. Get yourself a journal with prompts to help you stay in the practice of writing every day.
Dark Chocolate has to be the ultimate mood shifter. It is high in antioxidants because it contains Polyphenols. According to the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, polyphenols can help change your mood. No! That doesn’t mean you can eat the whole bag of mini-Hershey bars! Everything in moderation. The best dark chocolate contains about 70% cocoa. So, go ahead and enjoy your daily dose of chocolate, guilt free.
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