I can't with this up and down weather. One day it's a crisp cool fall day the next it's humid and gross! Mother Nature didn't get the memo that a lot of us deal with seasonal affective disorder(SAD) and this shit is making us go coo- coo!
Our mind and body are out of whack. When you have SAD; the shorter days, colder weather and lack of sleep and vital nutrients can make your whole system go haywire. All of these up and down days where it's hot/ cold , light/ dark days isn't allowing our body to transition to the new seasonal changes. Which then affects our natural rhythms and throw us off balance.
It's so important to make sure we get enough light, sleep, proper nutrients and support!
Here's a look at natural treatments and lifestyle changes that are sometimes used for seasonal affective disorder.
Both sunlight and darkness trigger the release of different chemicals in your brain. Exposure to sunlight (or simply daylight) is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin, which can boost your mood and help you feel calm and focused.
To keep your serotonin levels up and keep your melatonin levels balanced, try to spend enough time outside during the colder months. Aim to get around 10–30 minutes of midday sunlight, several times per week — every day if you can.
One of the many ways I try to naturally help my body is diffusing lemon essential oil ( alone, not blended) . Lemon oil is a natural uplifting oil and has been used in many studies to help with depression. It's also invigorating and has been shown to reduce anxiety and boosts both serotonin and dopamine.
The benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are plentiful, and many people find that using one to combat seasonal affective disorder is effective. These lamps are large pieces of Himalayan salt with a bulb inside that glow when lit. The lamps produce soft orange hues, which are known as soothing colors that calm the mood and increase focus. They also release small amounts of negative ions that boost the mood by increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain and result in being more alert, decreasing drowsiness, and producing more mental energy. 33% of people have increased sensitivity to negative ions and get even more mood-boosting benefits from using Himalayan salt lamps.
Getting proper sleep and "turning off"
Diffusing Lavender and applying Cedarwood essential oils to your forehead before bed will leave you feeling refreshed. Be sure to get yourself a medical grade diffuser, one that we love is the Desert Mist diffuser from Young Living. This exclusive diffuser can run up to 10 hours and has the option of running with or without several light options.
If you haven't jumped onto the diffusing wagon ( and why haven't you?!) you can still get the benefits of aromatherapy by rubbing 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then use the inhalation method to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse) in your brain to calm the mind. Next, you'll want to rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body.
Cedarwood while it is not in the Premium Starter Kit , it is one that I always tell everyone to purchase right way. It has a soothing and calming effect on the mind. The scent of this essential oil encourages the release of serotonin, which is converted into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin induces restorative sleep and leaves you feeling calm.
Keeping Nutrition in Line
When you are in the middle of a SAD outbreak- your immediate thought is to eat. Many of us decide that carbs are our BFFs!
Why is this? Well.... dopamine depletion causes a temporary worsening of symptoms in SAD patients. Dopamine is associated with “reward” pathways in the brain, and may also be linked to binge eating! Am I perfect with this? Of course not.
But I can tell when I put in the effort and eat, sleep and support my mood I feel better and can actually function.
I want you to have an index of delicious and healthy foods that will carry you through the next several seasonal changes. Here is a compilation of hearty and healthy recipes for you to enjoy.
Bundling up and heading out for some exercise is another great natural remedy for seasonal affective disorder. That’s because you’re not only raising your endorphin and serotonin levels through working out, you’re also exposing yourself to natural sunlight and fresh, crisp air. You can choose to go for a jog, a bike ride, or even a quick HIIT workout in the park.
Check out more ways to Keep your Winter Weather Goals
FREE WINTER WELLNESS GUIDE
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+I am in no way a doctor or medical professional, this is how I am able to learn from my body and what it needs during periods of seasonal anarchy.