If you get "the blues" during the fall and winter and don't know why, then you may suffer from seasonal depression, often called SAD. This disorder can go undiagnosed for years because some people think that becoming sad during a long winter is normal. When that sadness lasts for more than a couple of weeks in the winter, it signals that "the blues" is more likely to be seasonal depression. Thankfully, there are easy, natural ways to combat it, and here are two that have been beneficial to many people.
1. Vitamin D Supplementation
Vitamin D consumption is correlated with depression in many ways. First, there have been studies of blood levels of vitamin D in people with depression that found lower levels of the vitamin in people experiencing depression than those without it. Second, there is belief that seasonal depression may develop due to the fact that most people get less sun exposure during the short, dreary days of winter, and the body makes vitamin D naturally when skin is exposed to the sun.
Many health professionals are also speculating that Vitamin D may not really be a vitamin after all, but an important hormone. Hormones affect the body more dramatically than vitamins typically do, which may be why low levels of vitamin D can affect so many of the body and brain's important functions.
Taking a vitamin D supplement daily is one important step to battle seasonal depression, and it is also very affordable and natural. A vegan vitamin D3 supplement should be taken by all vegans during the winter, because if you are a vegan, then you are likely getting even less vitamin D in your diet than people who consume dairy products that often have the vitamin added to them.
For more information, contact Do Vitamins or a similar company.
2. SAD Lights
There is a specific type of lighting fixture called a SAD light, and they are so useful for seasonal depression that some psychologists and psychiatrists prescribe them for patients in the fall and winter. Health insurance companies can even cover their cost when prescribed, although you don't need a prescription to purchase one. These lights come in many sizes today, and the size is not as important as the bulbs used in them. Look for a SAD light with bulbs that are full-spectrum and project light that is 10,000 LUX. There are versions on the market that project 5,000 LUX, and this type may be useful if you find that the brighter version gives you headaches or triggers migraines.
To use a SAD light, all you have to do is set it up next to your computer, breakfast table, or other favorite spot in the morning, and let it project toward your face from about an arm's length away while you perform your usual tasks in the morning. Most experts advise that you start with about 10 to 15 minutes of exposure each morning and then increase the time only if you need to. The light stimulates cells in your retina that trigger a part of your brain, called the hypothalamus, that controls many of you body's processes, including your circadian rhythm. Put more simply, it replaces the light that you you lose when days shorten during the winter.
If you get the winter blues, then consider that it may be seasonal depression and take steps now to ward it off or stop it in its tracks. Begin taking a vitamin D supplement daily and look into purchasing an SAD light to help you have your happiest, most productive winter ever.