|photo by Nels Kloster|
With the recent changes in daylight, I am beginning to miss the warm, sunny days of summer. For some of us, the increasing darkness brings a noticeable down turn of mood, and with that a dread of becoming depressed in the depths of winter. This is common enough that it has a name, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is a type of depression that is brought on by the effects of a lack of natural light. Like depression, sleep, appetite, joy and energy are affected.
I have suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder since I was a teenager. I am once again starting to feel the effects of it. I tried antidepressants in the past. The process of trial and error to find the right antidepressant was difficult. And then, my decision to wean off it when winter months were over, was worse then the depression itself. I tried taking antidepressants year-round, but found the side effects intolerable. I have decided the best way for me to conquer SAD is by being pro-active. This is a list of what I do to get through the winter. It is not by any means meant for everyone. I would suggest consulting a health care professional if you think you suffer from SAD.
-Nourishing herbs. I drink a quart of either Nettles (Urtica dioica) or Oatstraw (Avena satvia) infusion every day throughout the year. This is my favorite addition to keeping healthy (I will have a full write-up on my other blog soon).
-Nourishing foods. My winter diet includes, garlic, ginger and onions every day.
-Vitamin D3 supplements. I get my Vitamin D levels tested in the beginning of winter to determine the amount I should take. My levels have been extremely low every year.
-Getting in the sun as much as possible or using a full spectrum light in the mornings.
-Staying physically active.
-Staying socially active.
-My future goal, to spend the winters in Hawaii.