The Winter blues are a real thing. As much as 60% of the US deals with it each year. That's a lot of people who are feeling a little down! What are the winter blues? Known as seasonal affective disorder, often referred to by the acronym SAD, the winter blues shows itself in the following ways:
1. Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, loss of interest, mood swings, or sadness.
2. Sleep: excess sleepiness, insomnia, or sleep deprivation
3. Whole body: appetite changes or fatigue
4. Behavioral: irritability or social isolation
5. Also common: depression, lack of concentration, or weight gain (list courtesy of www.mayoclinic.com)
Now that we know what to look for, what are some ways we can combat it's effects?
1. Get some fresh air and exercise. I know, I know, that's what everyone says, but in this case it's true. The endorphins (or feel good hormones) that are released during and after even just 20-30 minutes of any heart pumping movement, especially if it's outdoors, can turn any gloomy day around.
2. Going to bed and waking up at the same time. Having a bedtime routine that your body can look forward to sets the stage for a great night's sleep. Having trouble settling your mind? Keep a notebook by your bed to jot down notes and consider the use of a non-melatonin based supplement like Sleep Essence that harnesses the power of essential oils to naturally lull you to sleep.
3. Get as much sunshine as possible on your skin as early as you can. Even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes each morning, that can produce the amount of Vitamin D your body needs to regulate your mood. If the day is dreary or overcast, find a good Vitamin D3 supplement and take at least 3,000 IU/day. Spending 10-15 minutes in front of a light box first thing.
4. Diffuse mood lifting essential oils. Essential oils work great when diffused because they can cover a large area and when used in an ultrasonic diffuser can quickly and safely get into your bloodstream and help lift your mood effectively and naturally. Some of my favorites are Joy (a blend of floral essential oils), tree oils such as black spruce or balsam fir and citrus oils like Orange and Lime.
Picking just one (or more) of these choices will help you combat the effects of Winter and help you feel like yourself again!
If you'd like to learn even more about this topic or to schedule a time to speak with me about this, give me a holler. I'd love to chat with you!