What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a disorder that causes people to get depressed in the winter seasons. This occurs because there is usually very little sunlight in the winter, and the lack of it makes people depressed.
Usually, the people don’t know that they’re only depressed in the winter. If you or someone you know gets depressed in the winter, but seems fine all summer, then they may have SAD.
SAD is most common in women, people aged 15 to 55, and people who live in areas with little daylight in the winter. The lack of light can upset your biological clock and confuse it. The chemicals in your brain aren’t sure what to do, so in turn, you get depressed. SAD comes with the usual signs of depression.
Luckily, there are ways to help with your seasonal depression. Follow these natural home remedies if your depression is mild. If you have suicidal thoughts, get help from a friend, family member, or therapist.
Home Remedies For Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
#1. Bright Light Treatment
In the morning while you eat breakfast, do homework, read, or any other thing where you might be sitting at a table or desk, get a light box or even just a very bright lamp and turn it on. Being near to bright light, even just for a small amount of time can help to control your SAD.
#2. Tryptophan-Rich Foods
People with SAD tend to eat a lot more carbohydrates than they usually would. With the lack of sunlight, their body is low on serotonin. Taking in tryptophan can help increase the production of serotonin, making you feel better. Foods that are high in tryptophan are turkey, egg whites, and dairy products are excellent home remedies for SAD.
#3. Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
There are certain foods that can help to keep your blood sugar levels constant. Usually blood sugar levels change from ups to downs during the day. Some foods to keep your blood sugar levels more constant are basmati rice, pasta, and rye bread.
#4. Eat More Fruit
Most fruits act as excellent natural remedies that can help to raise your serotonin levels, making you feel better. Some good fruits to try out are just apples, grapes, oranges, and pretty much any kind of fruit you can find at your local grocery store.
#5. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is in yummy foods, but it’s not good for your body, especially when you have SAD. Caffeine can make you more anxious. Anxiety commonly goes along with depression, so it’s best to avoid anything that does not reduce your anxiety.
#6. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is just about the opposite of caffeine. It doesn’t act as a stimulant. Alcohol acts as a natural depressant. The last thing you need when you’re depressed is more depression. Avoid alcohol as much as you can.
#7. Drink Herbal Tea
Try to avoid teas with too much caffeine in it. Herbal teas are a great option though. These teas can calm you down and some may contain natural chemicals that can help to make you feel better. Some teas you might want to try are chamomile, cinnamon, and peppermint teas.
#8. Peppermint and Lemon Oil
You can add either a tablespoon of peppermint or lemon oil in some warm water. Boil the water and once it begins to steam, take it off the stove. Put a towel over your head and breath in the steam. This can help to give you some caffeine-free energy. This can also help to fight some illnesses like sinusitis and cold.
Talking walks or jogging outside are good ways to feel better. The morning is the best time to exercise to feel better. This is not 100% proven to help, but some studies have shown that it helps sometimes.
#10. Set a Sleep Schedule
Make sure that you set up your own sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time, or around the same time every day. Just by doing this one simple thing you can help to combat your SAD.
Hopefully you can put some use to these tips. If worse comes to worse, and you get SAD every year, just take a vacation to some sunny location, or if you have to, consider moving to somewhere more tropical.