Gray Skies Getting You Down? Beat the Winter Doldrums Naturally

Many people find themselves a bit blue during the cold, gray months of winter.  Some have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), while others only have minor mood changes.  You don’t have to wait for spring to feel better… there are natural ways to beat the winter blues.

Try these natural options before you seek out traditional medicine.  As always, its a good idea to check with your Doctor before making any dietary/activity/lifestyle changes to make sure you are healthy enough and won’t experience a medication contradiction.

(Photo by Sebastian Knight at Dreamstime under RF-LL)

  • Let the light in- open curtains during the day to allow natural light inside.
  • Get outside- spend at least 30 minutes each day outside.  Go for a walk, sit on the steps and read a book, pick up litter on the street.
  • Drink red wine and eat dark chocolate- they are full of antioxidants that are good for you.  Have one glass of red wine and a small amount (one-two squares) of dark chocolate each day.
  • Get your B’s- especially B6.  Take a supplement and enjoy vitamin rich foods.
  • Consider St. John’s wort.  Independent research has determined that it is effective against mild to moderate depression.  Check with your Doctor if you are taking other medications because it can interfere.
  • Bring in light sources- full spectrum fluorescent light can help mimic natural sunlight and create the biochemical changes that lift your mood.  Try 30 minutes a day with a light at a minimum of 10,000 lux of high intensity artificial sunlight.
  • Talk therapy may also help, if you don’t see an improvement with supplementation and light therapy, consider this option.
  • If you need prescription treatments- don’t feel bad about making the choice that may save your life, or at least your marriage.  Do get informed about the medication, side effects and contraindications.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I’m going to pass it on to my dh, who is a sunshine kind of guy. I definitely notice a difference in him in the winter.
    Which is weird. I’m from the Midwest, so the Virginia winters are hardly gray comparatively!
    Maybe it’s just that I grew up so used to winter.

    Great post, great tips!

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