Help to Beat the Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that strikes during the winter months. Try these tips to beat the winter blues.


| January 11, 2008



Winter SAD


ISTOCKPHOTO

After the holiday decorations have come down and your relatives have all gone home, you may find yourself stuck with a case of the winter blues. Colder temperatures and limited sunshine can make anyone feel like curling up in bed rather than facing the outside world.

Each year, millions of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that strikes during the winter months. The exact cause of SAD is unknown, but the decreasing daylight that wintertime brings is thought to be a trigger for the condition. Even if you don't suffer from SAD, the short days of winter can be enough to make anyone feel down.

The good news is there are many affordable, natural remedies for the winter blues. One simple option is to try to get more sunshine, whether by spending more time sitting next to a window when you're inside, or increasing the amount of time you spend outdoors each day. For more severe cases of seasonal depression, a common treatment is light therapy, in which patients sit in front of light boxes for an allotted time each day for exposure to artificial sunshine.

Here are a few other remedies that can help combat dreary winter moods:


St. John's Wort

This herb has been found to help alleviate mild to moderate depression, and it works as well as standard antidepressants, according to the journal American Family Physician. You should consult with your health care professional before starting a regimen of St. John's Wort to find out about possible issues with other medications. For example, taking this herb can compromise the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

Yoga

Studies have shown that all types of yoga are effective as complementary treatment for depression. Relatively inexpensive and easy to learn, yoga can help move your focus inward and bring calm to your body and mind. Yoga is helpful because it provides emotional, psychological and physical benefits to your body. Learn more about yoga here.

krista watts
1/17/2012 4:28:27 AM

Taking Niacin (vitamin B3) shows a good amount of success in helping relieve depression. I have been having my husband take a dose twice a day and he says it is amazing that he can actually feel the difference. There is a lot of research out there about it so go take a look! good luck!


ralph hall
3/1/2010 10:03:04 AM

Getting outside naked helps a lot. It's often possible to do this from mid Atlantic area southward most afternoons in the winter.






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