SAD. Yes, we all know what is stands for. When the gray days grow longer and the nights grow colder Seasonal Affective Disorder can take over.

Change in season marks the change in sadness for many of us who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Growing up in the Northeast coast, I can confirm when the sun began to settle at 5:00 PM I could think of nothing else but wanting to jump in bed, drink a cup of warm hot cocoa and sleep the rest of the day away. If your typical Monday through Friday ritual sounds similar, you may want to consider mixing in a few natural home remedies to help alleviate those winter woes.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) typically occurs around the same time every year, most often during the winter months. Winter’s decrease in daylight hours can cause a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock), which can lead to feelings of depression and a drop in serotonin levels. Five percent of adults have been diagnosed with a form of Seasonal Affective Disorder but up to 20 percent of people experience symptoms at some point in their lives.

Thankfully, there are a number of highly effective natural remedies to reduce symptoms of SAD. Some are quite simple and work immediately, some require a bit more effort or expense. What’s encouraging is you can gain relief from most SAD symptoms using the natural treatment options below, either alone or in combination.

1. Try Light Therapy: There are two types of light therapy: Bright Light Treatment and Dawn Stimulation. Bright Light Treatment is achieved by sitting in front of a “light box” for a certain amount of time in the morning. Dawn Stimulation is achieved by using a low-intensity light while you sleep which gradually gets brighter in the morning before you wake.

2. Take Natural Herbal Antidepressant Supplements: There are many natural herbal supplements proven to be effective, increasing mood-enhancement, serotonin and dopamine in the brain. We suggest stocking up on St.John’s Wort, Melatonin and Vitamin D.

3. Eat More Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Studies suggest that populations that eat more fish per capita, such as Japan (153 pounds a year) and Iceland (201 pounds a year), have unexpectedly low rates of depression.

4. Use Aromatherapy Stress Relief or Health & Wellness Patches: Essential oils stimulate the brain and limbic system which help maintain hormonal balance and boost overall emotional wellbeing. Frankincense, Bergamot, Lavender, and citrus-derived oils are commonly used to alleviate symptoms of SAD.

5. Practice Yoga Daily: Scientific research suggests that the sustained practiced of yoga can influence the body’s physiology significantly, increasing serotonin levels and alleviating depression.

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