Winter blues are a real thing - especially where we live. The rainy weather combined with late sunrises and early sunsets can result in seasonal affective disorder, appropriately abbreviated as SAD ☹️ The condition is also known as the winter blues, winter depression, or seasonal funk. Whatever you call it - it’s not fun.
Symptoms of the winter blues can include depression, insomnia, lethargy, loss of interest in your usual hobbies, and loss of or increased appetite.
Although the exact causes of SAD are not yet fully understood, it is believed that the shorter days and longer nights disrupt the circadian rhythm - that’s your internal clock that regulates how and when you sleep. That leads us to feeling so *off* through the long winter months.
So - if you relate to this at all - here are 3 simple tips for beating those winter blues.
1️⃣ Get yo’self a light box. Light boxes are highly recommended by researchers for alleviating the symptoms of SAD. Gloomy winter days and a general lack of sunlight are two factors that contribute towards the winter blues, and light boxes can help fix that! Check Amazon for a light box that emits up to 10,000 lux of light and start the first hour of your day with 30 minutes in front of the box. You can sit in front of it while eating breakfast or getting ready for work. Easy.
2️⃣ TAKE VITAMIN D. This is really something you should be doing year round that can make a massive difference. Vitamin D3 is the form you want to look for at the store or online. I like the Thorne Research brand. 3000-5000IU might be a good dosage to start at but getting your levels tested is always the best way to determine what dosage is necessary for you.
3️⃣ Eat well. It’s really quite simple. Stick to lean proteins, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and high-quality carbs. These are always staples of a well-balanced diet but they’re especially important in the winter months (and after the holiday binges). This formula ensures that our blood sugar stays balanced and our body is getting the nutrients it needs. Also - try to stay away from slamming coffees (or Bangs ) all day every day. Caffeine can repress your serotonin levels, stress your adrenals, and also disrupt your ability to sleep well at night.
There you have it. Three simple ways to help you get through these draining winter months. Hang tight, fam - the sun will be back before you know it.
(For severe cases of seasonal affective disorder, there are medical treatments that can help - please talk to your doctor or therapist!)