Natural treatment for depression and healthy ways to fight the winter blues. It’s that time of year again when nights last longer than days, cooler temperatures keep us tucked away inside, and the holidays are just around the corner.
Unfortunately, so is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The winter blues is a common affliction, but is there a natural treatment for depression in the colder months?
Keep reading to learn more about SAD and how you can fight it, naturally.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often referred to as the “winter blues,” is a seasonal mental health disorder. It typically shows up during the fall and winter months when daylight hours dwindle.
Seasonal depression symptoms often include a dip in mood and energy levels, feeling more tired, irritable, and generally feeling “blah.” It’s thought to be linked to the lack of sunlight, which messes with your internal body clock and serotonin levels.
SAD may also be exasperated by the stress that surrounds the winter holidays. This time of year can be difficult for people who’ve lost loved ones or who have strained familial relationships.
If you are one of these people, you’re not alone. Winter depression is common and can interfere with your work and social life, especially around the holidays. So, what can you do about it?
Fortunately, there are natural ways to treat depression in winter that anyone can implement into their daily routine to help make those gloomy winter days a bit more manageable.
Spending more time outside is linked to many health benefits, including acting as a natural treatment for depression. Being outside lowers cortisol, the stress hormone, and can help relieve anxiety.
The great outdoors can also improve your vitamin D levels by exposing you to sunlight. Vitamin D for SAD is especially important as low levels of vitamin D are linked to depression and weakened immune system.
Get outside more by taking walks, eating your lunch on a park bench, or taking your exercise routine out in nature. Spending even just a few minutes in the great outdoors can help take your mind off your daily stressors, thus improving your mood.
Sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health. Lack of sleep is linked to higher levels of stress and can zap you of energy or make you more irritable.
More sleep means more energy and a clearer mind to take on the day ahead. It can also help strengthen your immune system, preventing you from getting sick as often.
Getting more sleep is a simple natural treatment for depression, yet many people suffer from poor quality sleep. If you find it difficult to get enough sleep, especially in winter, make some simple lifestyle changes.
Try going to bed at an earlier time, purchasing blackout curtains, refraining from drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evenings, or meditating before bed. These changes can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
You might also consider natural sleep supplements like melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates sleep. For more ideas on how to get better sleep at night, check out our other blog post, Set Your Bedroom Up for Sleep.
Hitting the gym more often can do more for you than help you fit into your skinny jeans. Exercise is a natural stress reliever that kicks up your endorphins and puts you in a feel-good mood for hours.
Studies show that exercise may even be more effective than antidepressants in some cases. That’s because the benefits of exercise improve your overall well-being from improved cardio fitness to better sleep.
Even just 15 minutes of exercise daily can improve your mood and relieve symptoms of seasonal depression. Incorporate more exercise into your daily routine by taking a walk on your lunch break, signing up for a new fitness class, playing winter sports with your family, or starting an at-home workout routine.
Need a boost to help you be more active? Bu Renewed’s Age Well System supplements are formulated with natural potent ingredients like coenzyme Q10 and glucosamine to support joint mobility and energy levels.
Making supplements part of your daily regimen may make staying active easier and more comfortable.
A poor diet can wreak havoc on your health in more ways than one. Highly processed foods can lead to weight gain, skin problems, gastrointestinal distress, low energy, and even poor mood.
Most Western diets contain overly processed foods that are high in calories and saturated fats but low in nutritional value. These foods lack the proper nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
A balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats and proteins can be a natural treatment for depression that often goes overlooked. These foods are packed full of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for both your physical and mental health.
Certain nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin D are linked to better mental health and may even help reduce symptoms of seasonal depression. Ensure you are getting enough vitamins for winter depression in your diet by eating more whole foods at every meal.
Dietary supplements are a great way to get the necessary nutrients you need to function at your best. Certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs for anxiety and depression can be found online or in your local health food store, making them an accessible natural treatment for depression.
Some of these seasonal depression supplements include vitamin D, melatonin, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. These ingredients have been studied for their potential to relieve stress, improve your immune system, and help you sleep better.
Our BuRenewed Well Being System includes a combination of these nutrients and more in convenient capsule form. The Well Being System was formulated to improve your overall sense of well-being through helping to relieve stress and anxiety, promote energy levels, naturally increase serotonin and dopamine production, and improve sleep.
Our formula is packed full of natural ingredients specifically chosen to help you deal with whatever life throws at you, including seasonal depression.
Light therapy, or phototherapy, is a natural treatment for depression that’s particularly effective for SAD.
In addition, light therapy is a simple process that involves sitting in front of a special kind of lightbox that emits bright, powerful light that mimics the sun’s natural rays. Exposure to this kind of light helps regulate your circadian rhythm, the internal body clock that regulates your body’s sleep cycle.
Light therapy is thought to change the chemicals in your brain. For people suffering from the winter blues or other forms of depression, light therapy can relieve brain fog, boost energy levels, and alleviate seasonal depression symptoms.
It’s also a non-invasive therapy, meaning you don’t have to deal with potential side effects or undergo any kind of procedure. All that’s required is for you to sit in front of a lightbox for at least half an hour each day
Light therapy is safe for most people, making it a great alternative option for those who prefer a natural treatment for depression or want to incorporate it with their existing therapies. However, make sure to only use light therapy under the guidance of a doctor to stay safe and get the most effective results.
Mindfulness and meditation have been practiced for centuries as a method for finding peace within oneself. They teach you to be more present in your everyday life and to observe your thoughts and feelings, rather than be controlled by them.
Mindfulness and meditation practices have been studied for their benefits in being a natural treatment for depression and other mental health disorders. The studies show that meditation and mindfulness can help your brain better manage stress and anxiety, and even physically change the way your brain works.
Mindfulness helps you become aware of your negative thought patterns and allows you to distance yourself from them. Meditation is helpful in providing a structured way to focus your mind, promoting relaxation, and reducing anxiety and stress.
Both practices can be helpful in managing your seasonal depression symptoms, allowing you to better handle the cold winter blues. You can practice mindfulness and meditation virtually anywhere, and they don’t require any special equipment.
By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine, even for just a few minutes a day, you can experience reduced stress, improved mood, and increased self-awareness.
Sometimes the best remedy for getting out of a slump is to call up a friend. As seasonal depression can be isolating, especially in colder months when you’re stuck indoors.
The cold winter months often tempt us to stay tucked away indoors, but making an effort to be social with friends and family can be highly beneficial for your mental health.
Socializing provides an opportunity to share your feelings, exchange experiences, and lean on the support of your network. Whether it’s a chat over a warm cup of tea or a shared activity like a movie night or a game of cards, these interactions release feel-good hormones and combat the sense of loneliness that accompanies seasonal depression.
Moreover, socializing can renew your sense of purpose and structure. When you have social commitments, you’re more likely to get out of bed, get dressed, and engage in meaningful activities.
These interactions provide a welcome distraction from the winter blues and create new memories. Whether it’s reconnecting with old friends, joining a local club or group, or participating in community events, being more social can be an effective natural treatment for depression that’s easily attainable.
9. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils derived from different plants and flowers.
There are certain scents like lavender, citrus, and peppermint, which are known to evoke feelings of calm, relaxation, and happiness which are natural treatments for depression.
Studies show that aromatherapy can be beneficial in improving mood and well-being, especially when combined with other therapy, like massage. You can incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine through methods such as candles, scent diffusers, or added to your bath water in liquid form.
Inhaling these scents may stimulate certain chemicals in your brain to promote a more positive outlook and reduce stress and anxiety.
By creating a more pleasant atmosphere in your home, these scents can help shift your mood and energy levels on those dark winter days. Choose fragrances like peppermint or citrus to give you a boost in energy and lift your spirits.
Choose fragrances like lavender, which is known to have a calming, relaxing effect and will help with anxious thoughts. Shifting your mindset could be as simple as lighting a candle.
Creating a warm, cozy, and inviting environment in your home may help you better cope with the lonely feelings of seasonal depression and help with natural treatment for depression. When the days are shorter and the weather outside is frightful, your home becomes your sanctuary.
Make your home a place where you can find comfort and peace this winter season. Add home accessories like soft, fluffy blankets, warm lighting, and comfortable furniture. You can instantly transform your space into a warm and welcoming environment you feel safe in.
Cozy elements like rugs, candles, and cushions can evoke feelings of warmth and relaxation. This will help to counteract the gloom that often accompanies dark winter days.
Being in a cozy environment provides both physical comfort and a sense of emotional well-being. By personalizing your space with items and decor that make you feel happy, you can create a positive atmosphere that supports your mental health.
Surround yourself with things that bring you joy, such as pictures of loved ones, fun artwork, or unique home decor. Having a cozy home that you enjoy coming back to can offer a refuge from the outside world, helping to alleviate the symptoms of seasonal depression and nurture your mental and emotional well-being.
Feeling gloomier than usual during winter is common and can be experienced by anyone. Your mental health should always be prioritized but even more so if you have seasonal depression.
Finding a natural treatment for depression in winter can be a welcome alternative for those who prefer a holistic approach to wellness. Changing certain lifestyle habits and incorporating different therapeutic methods into your daily routine can help soothe feelings of sadness and anxiety.
Try some of these methods this winter season to feel your best and fight those chilly weather blues.