There is no denying that winter has arrived now, with snowfall becoming a more regular occurrence and temperatures hovering in the single digits. Many people get the “winter blues” during this time of year, dreaming of the sunshine and warm temperatures of the spring and summer. That “I-can’t-wait-for-winter-to-end” feeling which hasn’t gone away may actually be a more severe form of winter depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.
If you have SAD, your sensitivity to winter’s shorter days and the lack of sunlight can cause your brain to work overtime producing melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your body clock and sleep patterns, and has also been linked to production. That’s why, all things considered, the farther north from the equator you live the greater risk you’ll have of developing some kind of winter depression.
So how can you kick your winter blues to the curb? Here are some tips:
Here comes the sun!
Get as much sunlight as possible. Driving in your car doesn’t count, either- with the angeled and darkened glass of many car windshields, your retina doesn’t get enough sunlight when you’re driving, even when it’s sunny. To get your dose of Vitamin D, we’d recommend taking a nice brisk walk outside when the sun is out. It will make a big difference in your mood!
30 minutes of exercise a day keeps the doctor away
Even 30 minutes of exercise, which could be light jogging, spinning, yoga, pilates, or any kind of workout you enjoy, can make all the difference if done regularly. Exercising releases endorphins in your brain, which uplift your mood and make you feel great. There is no reason not to exercise!
Essential oils, are essential!
We love using essential oils, especially to combat depression and seasonal illnesses. Try using sage, bergamot, sandalwood, mandarin, lemongrass and grapefruit oils, either topically, in an infuser, or put a few drops into your water or tea (depending on what type of oil it is). Oils absorb into your bloodstream instantly, and have tons of health benefits! Just make sure the oils you are using are pure and purchased from a reputable seller, as many oils you can find on Amazon are tampered with and will not be as effective.
Regardless of what season it is, if you are experiencing deep bouts of depression, do not hesitate to seek out professional psychiatric help. Here at Mayflower Acupuncture, we can help you through our healing acupuncture treatments, and recommend a specific course of treatment for you. We know how to deal with SAD, pain, frustration, fatigue and everything in between! Come see us soon!