*Before I start I am asking that any advice that I give, check with your doctor before starting any herbal remedy or exercise program.
There are things that I love about winter and things that I hate. When you live in the midwest, you have to deal with lots of dreary days and days without sunlight. There can be literally weeks without seeing the sun and only seeing light behind the clouds. It is especially bad where I live. Every year since I have remembered, except when I lived in Florida for a few years, I have had to deal with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and I hate it. This is what I used to do.. ignore the fact that I was getting more and more depressed and anxious and by the time March comes around I am about ready to jump out of my skin or cry at the drop of a hat. I hate it. I have tried medicine which really doesn't work that well and I usually have to go tanning for a couple of weeks in the winter. I don't like to tan b/c I know that it is bad, this year I am trying something different.
Please share this link to my post those of you who know someone who suffers from SAD. Here are some things that I am doing differently to try to get through this winter...
1. First of all, make sure that you are not deficient in any vitamins. I do take a few vitamins (with my multivitamin) b/c my diet (no dairy, no gluten, no eggs, no red meat, etc) makes it hard for me to get some vitamins without having to eat all veggies. I also take Omega-3 fatty acids which is so important in dealing with any sort of depression or anxiety. Make sure that you are getting enough from your foods or consider taking a supplement.
2. As you may or may know, the sun helps the body make Vitamin D. If you aren't getting enough in your diet during the winter months, this can definitely affect you.Obviously without sun exposure you may not be producing enough Vitamin D. I know I wasn't getting enough Vitamin D in my diet so I added a supplement. Talk to your doctor if you need a supplement or not.
3. My doctor advised me to get full spectrum light bulbs. They are not tanning lights, but they produce light that has certain desirable qualities that make it similar to natural sunlight. Like natural daylight, full spectrum light bulbs produce light that is seen by the human eye in a bluish-white tint. The brightness value of the light is similar to that of daylight, and the bulbs have excellent color rendering capability. I bought both full spectrum light bulbs and a lamp for my craft room from this site.
4. I am trying to go for a walk at least once a week on the brightest day of the week.. if it's not freezing. Plan ahead and look at the forecast for your area. If there are any days that might be at all sunny and not freezing, try to take a half hour walk. I find it really nice to get outside for a bit and enjoy the sun on my face!!
5. Try prayer/meditation. It is so important to try not to focus on the depression and anxiety you might be feeling. You can do this with prayer and meditation. I do meditative prayer which is where I listen to relaxing music and pray to God to help me. It helps so much!
6. If none of these things help, do seek medical advice. Trying different medications can help for some people. DON'T wait until it gets really bad.. just go :)
I hope this helps someone fight the winter blues. Please keep me updated if you are fighting this as well.