The winter season can be tough if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is fairly common and ¾ of sufferers are women. It is a type of depression that hits October-April and is at its worst bang in the middle of winter.
Symptoms of Winter Blues include:
- Low energy
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling anti-social
- Experiencing sadness
The main causes of winter blues are fewer daylight hours and low levels of Vitamin D. It is thought that the lack of natural light negatively affects our neurotransmitters: melatonin (our sleep hormone) can rise, and serotonin (the happy hormone) can decrease.
7 hacks to beat the Winter Blues
This winter’s lockdowns taking place in many countries also increases the risk of feeling mentally unwell, so here are our ways to help you through:
Get to the source of the problem by treating lack of daylight with a lamp that simulates it. This is a recommended treatment for those suffering SAD, and you can feel improvements within just 7 days with 15-30mins daily.
Boost your Vitamin D levels
Without adequate exposure to sunshine, it’s key to supplement at an appropriate dose. A daily intake of 5000 IU is recommended to keep you going through the dark winter months. However, to best understand how low you are, it’s great to get tested and go from there. Foods like mushrooms can help increase levels too, if they’ve been grown somewhere sunny, their Vit D is higher!
This helps enormously with mental health and a study published in Psychiatry Research (2000) found that exercise was just as effective as light therapy in improving winter depression.
Our Spirulina is a valuable source of protein that can be easily digested and used in the body. It provides tryptophan that we use to make serotonin that’s so important for beating winter blues. Plus, it helps keep energy levels stable to avoid crashes that trigger low mood.
The powerful compound in turmeric, curcumin, has been found to reverse symptoms like feelings of helplessness, loss of energy and hope in patients suffering depression according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (2015).
- Try a Golden Latte with 1tsp Organic Burst Turmeric stirred into warm almond milk, plus a dash of maple or rice malt syrup – why not make this a daily ritual during the dark months?
Ceremonial Grade Matcha (like ours) is the richest source of L-theanine, an incredible nutrient that has been proven to boost alpha brain waves, putting you in a positive mood, emotionally balanced and feeling mentally clear and focussed. L-theanine can also boost serotonin levels.
Feeling low or depressed is no longer a taboo subject and you are certainly not alone in it. It may help you to speak to someone close, or consider getting help from a therapist. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been found to be just as successful in SAD patients as light therapy.