Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically occurs each year during fall and winter. Every year, around 10% of us go through what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also referred to as the winter blues or seasonal depression. Here are 5 natural ways to help you combat SAD.

5 Ways to Treat SAD Naturally

1. Light Therapy. 

Light therapy boxes can offer effective treatment for SAD. Light box therapy may be effective on its own. Or, light therapy may be more effective when it's combined with another SAD treatment, such as an antidepressant medication or psychological counseling (psychotherapy).

Light therapy boxes for SAD treatment are also known as light boxes, bright light therapy boxes and phototherapy boxes.
All light boxes for SAD treatment are designed do the same thing, but one may work better for you than another. Be sure to consult with your doctor so that you get a light therapy box that best suits your needs.

2.  Break Away From Stimulants.

When the weather turns cold and the mornings greet us with darkness, we often resort to stimulants. Coffee to wake up, sugar to keep us happy and numb and then perhaps a glass of wine to relax in the evenings.
Unfortunately these become coping mechanisms and force our bodies into unnatural states of high and low. It is particularly recommended that you cut these stimulants out as they undoubtedly aggravate symptoms linked to all types of depression including SAD. While they may help in the moment you consume them, you are subjecting your body to extreme mood variables – what goes up must come down!
Instead, eat healthy, wholesome food – it will benefit you in the long run.
Cut out caffeine, sucrose (sugar) and alcohol.

3. Maximize your exposure to daylight.

Make your house brighter—trim the bushes around your windows and keep your blinds and curtains open during the day. Use bright colors on walls and light-colored upholstery. Get up early to take advantage of as much daylight as possible. If possible, sit near a window at work.

4. Engage in activities that you enjoy.

Take some time off in the winter, instead of using all of your vacation time during the summer. Volunteer or participate in activities that make you happy. Spend time with friends and family members who are caring, supportive, and positive.

5. Exercise Yourself to Health and Wellbeing!

Exercise is a vital stimulant when feeling low and helps the release of endorphins. There are many ways to make a little exercise part of your daily routine and you will reap the benefits fairly quickly. If you exercise outside rather than in a gym, you will also be exposing yourself to natural outdoor light, which is precisely what is needed to help restore your circadian rhythm.
Start with a light jog or maybe consider getting hold of a bicycle. Don't forget these are modes of transport too so include them in your daily routine. Consider commuting to work on a bicycle instead of taking the bus, tube or driving a car. It is a superb way to begin your day as you will be releasing seratonin, exposing yourself to natural light all the while getting fit and healthy, which helps to increase general wellbeing.

Get hold of a bike or some running shoes

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