As hard as it is to believe, the Daylight Savings Time (DST) change has come. And that means that the amount of daylight will be changing for most Americans. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression brought on by either lack of exposure to daylight or too much exposure to bright light at certain times during the day.
This disorder tends to affect people more severely in fall and winter when days are shorter, but can also happen around the time spring begins and daylight savings time begins. So with these things in mind, here are some tips for coping with SAD this season:
1. Get enough sleep each night
The best way to regulate your sleep/wake cycle is to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. This enables you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to greet the day.
You may have trouble sleeping though. Keeping a journal for a few weeks will help you track how much sleep you're getting and when. There are many apps for smartphones that can help with this, but there are also websites that will tell you when you should go to bed based on what time you need to wake up in the morning.
If this struggle continues I strongly encourage you to try Sleep Now Enhanced Melatonin Spray. Personally, it has helped me get a better night's rest and I feel more energized than ever!
2. Get the right amount of sunlight
If you can, schedule your day so that you get outside during daylight as much as possible. It is only natural that we should follow the sun to help regulate our internal clocks, just as many animals do.
Be sure to not go out when the sun is at its peak (11:00 am-3:00 pm) because it will be too bright and may even harm your eyes if exposed for too long. But going out earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon should make a huge difference in how you feel throughout the day.
On days where there is a lot of cloud cover or it is raining, this may make things more difficult, but do your best to go outside. Even in the rain, it is good to get out for a few minutes and take some deep breaths of fresh air.
Remember though to supplement with Micellized Vitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is a highly prevalent and is present in approximately 30% to 50% of the general population. A growing body of data suggests that low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels may adversely affect many health aspects. Supplementing is a safe way to support your body through the winter months.
3. Get Moving!
Exercise has many benefits but one of the main ones is that it helps improve your mood by releasing endorphins into your bloodstream. This not only makes you feel happier but has also been shown to help with depression and anxiety.
Even something as simple as a short walk around the block can make you feel better; try doing this three times per day for at least 20 minutes each time if possible. This gives you a better mood throughout the day and helps improve sleep at night (so long as exercise is not done too close to bedtime).
You might be feeling sluggish though and not be able to muster up the motivation for such a task. If that's the case, don't fret! Consider adding LifeMax Multivitamin from Newport Natural Health to your daily supplement routine. It delivers more than 30 vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant nutrients boosting your energy levels while protecting your body from the effects of stress.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Avoiding processed foods, alcohol, and sugar as much as possible is an excellent way to fight off fatigue and depression symptoms that often come along with SAD. Instead, opt for proteins and fruits and vegetables that are higher in antioxidants such as blueberries, strawberries, kale, etc.
This might feel impossible, but even changing one meal per day could make a difference in how you feel throughout the week. Healthy proteins include lean meats, eggs, non-fat dairy products, beans/tofu/tempeh, etc., but also plant-based options like flaxseeds/hemp hearts/pumpkin seeds are great choices too because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids which help with mood regulation.
Food doesn't always provide you with the necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals needed by your body to function normally, so consider adding supplements like Omega-D3 with Astaxanthin and Vitamin D3 to your diet. It contains all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you need to feel your best every day!
5. Enjoy appropriate amounts of caffeine
Coffee is a wonderful drink for many reasons; it helps give you energy throughout the day while boosting brain function. But unfortunately, some people are sensitive to caffeine and will experience negative effects from drinking it, especially during the winter months.
If you do drink coffee daily, try having only one cup per day in the morning or noontime hours. Any more than that might cause anxiety/shakiness/insomnia for certain individuals. Plus drinking too much coffee may have a negative effect on your teeth so be sure to drink through a straw or rinse with water after each sip.
However, drinking decaffeinated coffee is not recommended since it still contains chemicals that can produce adverse reactions in certain people including depression and irritability. So instead of going without, try switching to something else like botanical herbal teas such as Our Healing Tea.
6. Stay hydrated all day long
Water has a myriad of positive effects on your body, among them being that it keeps you hydrated and helps with digestion. It also helps transport nutrients to the right places which is especially beneficial for those who suffer from fatigue.
To help encourage yourself to drink more water, make sure you always have a full glass near you as well as one next to your toothbrush. Ingesting liquids throughout the day can significantly improve your mood, energy levels, and skin!
Do not forget to give an extra boost to your skin by using the Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner by Amaki. It restores your skin's pH balance and absorbs excess oils without drying out your skin. Make sure not to skip this step to ensure flawless, clear skin this winter.
7. Reduce your stress level
Stress is a serious mental and physical health issue that is easily exacerbated by depressive symptoms resulting from SAD. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try squeezing in some stress-relieving activities into your day. Meditation, yoga, journaling, time with friends/family, etc. are excellent ways to decompress from a busy day.
In order to help reduce the excessive stress from the chilly weather outside, pamper yourself with a luxurious floral bath prepared with Amaki's Flowers and Salts Bath Soak. Let the warm water melt away all your troubles and cares while softening your skin.
There are a handful of nutrients that can help naturally boost levels of serotonin and alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) in the brain that helps us relax, sleep better, and deal with stress. You can supplement with GABA (100 mg), or try L-theanine…
L-theanine. This amino acid stimulates the production of alpha waves, the brain waves associated with an awake, relaxed state. It also plays a role in the production of GABA. A good daily dose is 50 mg.
You can find L-theanine, as well as vitamin D, green tea extract, and several other herbs, in Tranquilene Total Calm. This ingredients in this supplement work together to promote the natural production of serotonin and GABA—which are essential in regulating mood and fighting seasonal depression.
8. Seek professional help
If these tips aren't helping or your Seasonal Affective Disorder causes more serious symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, trouble concentrating, etc., then please seek help from a mental health care professional immediately.
Every person's depression is different, so the best way to treat it is to seek help from a professional who can assess you on an individualized basis.
9. Be patient
Finally, it can take time for your body and mind to get used to the DST change each year, so just stick with these tips, and eventually, you will start feeling better!
Be sure you stay positive this season by surrounding yourself with family and friends who make you feel awesome about who you are. Remember to share this guide with your friends and family in case they need it too!