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5 Uplifting Remedies To Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

by:  in Category : Home Remedies

12 August, 2011

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Ever heard of the ‘winter blahs’, ‘winter doldrums or the ‘winter blues’? Many people feel low during the winter season. This feeling is actually classified as a depressive condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Those who suffer from SAD normally feel bored, depressed, listless, irritable, lethargic and sometimes, even cry.

In most cases, SAD begins during the onset of winter, towards the end of the summer. As the dark winter season approaches, people begin to dread the cold days ahead. In mild cases, a gradual decline into listless keeps them unhappy throughout the cold days.

Once spring starts, they feel better and go back to being normal. Severe cases may even lead up to contemplating suicide. While most episodes of SAD happen during the winter, in some cities the onslaught of hot temperatures during the summer brings on depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs when the body is not exposed to sufficient natural light. Bright light is necessary for our skin, bones and overall wellbeing. After all, it is the cheapest way of getting your daily dose of vitamin D, aptly called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin.

Now that SAD is listed as a depressive disorder, there are many anti-depressants available to treat the condition. Imagine, popping pills just to feel better when the days grow shorter and darker. We’re talking about a situation that occurs for several months at a stretch. Medication is not the answer to the problem. There are far healthier and natural ways to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

1. Exposure To Natural Light

No doubt the winter months are hard on everyone, particularly in regions where there is no snow on the ground. There may not be much natural light outdoors but it is a good idea to get out atleast for an hour a day. Stroll around the neighborhood if it is too cold to sit in one attitude for long.

2. Engage In Physical Activity

You can’t swim when it’s cold but there are plenty of other things you can do. If the lake nearby is frozen over, get out your skating gear. There are many malls that have indoor skating rinks. This will not only keep you warm but also take your mind of the depressing weather. Also, it helps to be around other people.

3. Phototherapy

Light treatment or phototherapy is a good way to get some bright light. For this purpose, light boxes are available to brighten your living spaces. You only need to use it for a half hour. More than that and you may experience side effects like headaches, insomnia and eyestrain.

4. Use Lighter Drapes

This might come across as a strange suggestion but it actually can alleviate SAD. Heavy, dark colored drapes keep the light out of the living spaces. The rooms automatically seem small and dull, in the absence of adequate light. Switch to light colored drapes, the kind that let in more natural light.

5. Limit The Intake Of Caffeine And Alcohol

I love my cup of coffee because it really gets me through the day but a caffeine kick is not the best way to tackle the winter days. People suffering from SAD do not benefit from drinking several cups of coffee but one cup a day won’t kill anyone. Drink herbal teas instead. In fact, if you can manage it, substitute coffee for herbal teas. Liquor in small quantities is okay but avoid taking to the bottle too frequently because alcohol is a known depressant.

Photo Credit : Methodsofhealing.com

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