Natural Ways to Combat Seasonal Depression

Natural Ways to Combat Seasonal Depression

 _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ As we enter into the colder months and shorter days of fall and winter, it’s not uncommon for our moods to decline with the lack of sunny weather. In some cases, seasonal changes can bring about feelings of sadness and depression. _x000D_ _x000D_ If you’re negatively impacted as the seasons change, here are a few natural but effective ways to combat seasonal depression this year. _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_  _x000D_ _x000D_  _x000D_
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  1. Increase Your Intake of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids _x000D_ _x000D_ The nutrients you receive from your diet play a role in regulating your mood, especially when it comes to essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids in particular are not only considered an excellent brain food for cognitive function but also help regulate the production of dopamine and serotonin, your feel-good neurotransmitters. _x000D_ _x000D_ You can increase the omega 3 fatty acids in your diet by eating chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, almonds and wild salmon. 
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  3. Take Vitamin D3 _x000D_ _x000D_ Vitamin D is referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because it is obtained directly from sunlight and promotes a happy, sunshine-y mood. Depression often has links to low levels of vitamin D, so be sure you’re increasing your intake throughout the gloomy months. _x000D_ _x000D_ It’s possible to obtain vitamin D from food sources such as egg yolks, fatty fish, cod liver oil and fortified cereals and orange juice- however, taking a vitamin D supplement can provide a more concentrated and therapeutic dosage to counteract seasonal depression naturally. _x000D_ _x000D_ To determine the appropriate dosage for your unique requirements, check in with your licensed healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation. 
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  5. Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels Balanced _x000D_ _x000D_ Ensuring your blood sugar levels are stabilized by consuming healthy fats and protein at every meal and snack can further improve your mood. _x000D_ _x000D_ When your blood sugar levels are imbalanced from excess sugar, alcohol or caffeine consumption, your mood can fluctuate, producing feelings of depression, anxiety or irritability. Stress, tobacco use and skipping meals are other causes of blood sugar level imbalance, so be sure to check in with these factors if you’re experiencing seasonal depression and start including good quality protein and healthy fats at each meal. 
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  7. Try a New Exercise Class _x000D_ _x000D_ Although it can be tempting to skip the gym in the morning and stay cozy under the blankets in the cooler months, you’ll thank yourself after every workout you complete. _x000D_ _x000D_ Exercising releases endorphins and provides you with sustainable energy, allowing you to feel motivated and positive throughout the day. To keep your exercise routine fresh this fall, why not try a new form of exercise? Switch up the spin classes for barre or put your focus on strength training rather than cardio. You never know what kind of new fitness challenges you’ll fall in love with until you try something new. _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_
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  9. Take Lorna Vanderhaeghe’s Smile 5-HTP Smile 5-HTP is a break-down product of the amino acid tryptophan, an amino acid needed to produce serotonin in the brain. Since low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, 5-HTP can be a great help throughout the dark, colder months when you start to feel down or as if something isn’t quite right.
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