Natural Treatments For Depression In Winter

Health & Medical Blog

The dropping temperatures, more time spent indoors, and less sunlight can all make people feel depressed in the fall and winter months. This common condition called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is characterized by sleeping more than usual, lack of energy, lack of motivation, and cravings for comfort foods that are high in carbohydrates. Luckily, there are several natural things you can do to help lift your mood and combat the symptoms associated with seasonal depression.

Change Your Diet

Instead of reaching for comfort foods that are high in carbohydrates and refined sugars, stick with foods that will keep you healthy and can help lift your spirits and prevent unwanted seasonal weight. Here are a few foods that you should add to your diet in winter:

  • Protein-rich foods. Choose lean proteins such as grilled chicken, eggs, low-fat dairy, and beans or lentils.
  • Fish. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and anchovies are all high in vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lift your mood.
  • Leafy greens. Add some turnip greens, collard greens, and spinach to your diet.
  • Dark chocolate. This rich chocolate can release endorphins into your blood stream, which is instrumental in lifting your spirits.

If you do want to add carbohydrates, stick to carbohydrates that are also high in fiber, such as certain vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains.

Get More Vitamin D

The shorter days and less time spent indoors means you are not getting as much vitamin D from the sun as you would in the spring, summer, and fall. That lack of vitamin D and sunlight can greatly impact your mood. Opening up the shades on a sunny day and letting the light in or spending as much time as you can weight it is light outside can help you get as much vitamin D as possible.

You can also get that much needed vitamin D from cow's milk, certain mushrooms, salmon, and egg yolks. Ask your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, if you are not getting your vitamin D needs met through sunlight and your diet.

Light Therapy

Phototherapy is an effective tool against seasonal depression that can help keep your circadian rhythm from falling off track and can help lift your mood. Light boxes give off light that is much brighter than a typically bulb. You simply sit in front of the bulb for several minutes a day and you can get the same boost of energy that comes from spending time outdoors in the sun.

Seasonal depression is a common issue with several natural remedies. If you are experiencing symptoms of seasonal depression, don't hesitate to also ask your doctor for suggestions.


27 January 2022

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