Are You S.A.D.?

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is often the culprit when you have the winter blues or winter depression. You feel down, you feel less energetic, you feel you can’t handle another irritation or holiday party. For those affected by SAD, it is the result of too much time indoors and too little sunlight in the day. But that cause gives some clues about how to turn things around and get to feeling better about this time of year.

Get Outside

Yes, it may be cold, but if the sun is shining find an excuse to get out in it. Since the days are shorter and it may be dark when you leave for work and when you get home, a brisk walk after lunch is the perfect time to get out in the sun. Not only will the sun help, so will the exercise.

Get Light Therapy

You have probably heard about this and thought little of it. Afterall, it is just a box with some lights in it. Almost true. Light therapy boxes have an intensity of light that has been proven to decrease or eliminate the symptoms of SAD. They also are designed to reduce UV rays. Ideally, you spend an hour a day in the light of these boxes, ideally in the first hour after you awake, and it can make your mood for the day much better. Just be sure to get a good one, one with at least 10,000 Lux. Your doctor should be able to recommend a good one. As with any bright light, don’t stare into it. Bask in it.

Get More Vitamin D

If you are getting less sunlight you are also getting less vitamin D. This essential vitamin is key to great health, including chasing away the blues. Be certain you are getting enough vitamin D, enough to get your blood levels up to above 50 ng/mL up to 70 ng/mL. Check with your doctor for a simple blood test and his recommendations. And do your own research. This is vital.

Get A New Alarm

Strange as it may seem, how you wake up can make a big difference in the rest of your day. Instead of a clanging, banging alarm, try waking up with a dawn simulator, an alarm that gradually increases the light in your bedroom to gradually wake you up. It would make sense if this simulator were hooked up to a light box to give you the best start possible. Studies have show these alarms, even without using the light box, to be almost as effective as a light box in relieving SAD.

Get Oiled

Some swear by essential oils to relieve SAD. You can use the oils either in a diffuser or by adding them to almond oil and massaging them into  your skin. The oils often recommended for helping with SAD are frankincense, lavender, bergamot and clary sage.

Don’t stay with SAD. Use these proven tips to improve your mood and enjoy the holidays!

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