As the autumn weather blows in its coolness, we begin to shift into a different gear that is preparing for the winter season.
Are you beginning to notice a change in your eating habits? Are you migrating toward the root vegetables, carbohydrates and sweets?
Are you noticing you are wanting to be outside less and feel more comfortable bundled up inside?
Are you feeling your mood is a little bit lower than you’ve known yourself to be?
This is the time of year when many of us feel the seasonal shift internally with mood and externally with our food cravings and body composition.
The term SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) has been coined in recent years to explain this phenomenon. It is essentially bouts of depression or depressed mood at certain times of year, mostly in the winter months. Younger people are more susceptible and it is more common in women.
So, what can be done to help?
Taking a mind-body approach to treatment is the best way of making positive change in someone’s life that is affected by SAD.
To break it down in categories, these are the areas that exert positive change.
Light: with SAD people tend to want to be inside, in dark spaces and away from stimuli. Get out, get up and get some light in your eyes. Full spectrum lights are incredibly powerful in lighting up your mood and energy. 30 minutes per day is most beneficial and when used upon rising, it mimics sunrise.
More Light…in the form of Vitamin D. Get your levels tested. Low levels of this powerful immune and mood supporting vitamin can increase rates of SAD. See your Naturopathic Doctor to assess your levels and begin supplementation to get you on track.
Movement: We want to be the hibernating bear, but this only makes things work. Even if all you can do is walk around the block once, that is progress.
Breathing: while you move, remember to breathe deeply and easily increasing oxygen to cells.
Nutrition: what we crave only perpetuates the mood we are feeling. To get out of that mood, eat clean. Choose to have a strong focus on vegetables and always in heated form. Teas are also great.
Acupuncture: to balance the energy meridians and support stable mood.
Supplementation: Naturopathic Doctors can help create plans with botanical, vitamin/mineral support to increase mood and overall wellbeing. Winter is a wonderful time to support your mood, your adrenals and your immune system.
Environment: For me television almost always makes the mood worse. It feels good for a minute, but after I’m done watching a program, I feel heavy and frustrated with wasted time. Choose to have nourishing music, programs, book, and company around you.
There is so much that can be done to support depressed mood and SAD, turning your winter into a more enjoyable experience.
If you are interested in learning how Naturopathic Medicine can support you, please contact the clinic at: email@example.com or 1-888-454-4667