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Fitness & Yoga

How to cope with the winter blues

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood condition than can affect absolutely anybody in the winter months. People who have normal mental health throughout the rest of the year experience a sudden decline in their mood – experiencing major depression throughout the whole of winter.

The key symptoms of SAD include sleep problems, lethargy, over eating, loss of concentration, anxiety, loss of libido and loss of concentration. Many individuals do choose to go on antidepressant medication to overcome this disorder, but if you’d prefer to conquer the blues in a natural way, there are several ways things that can help you overcome SAD.

Extra light

Sue Pavlovich, SADA (Seasonal Affective Disorder Association) media spokesperson, says that "Light therapy (light boxes) is recommended by SADA." Getting additional light is absolutely vital in overcoming SAD. There are specialist lamps available that provide 5,000 to 10,000 lux of light (lux is a measurement of light intensity). This amount of light is far higher than a regular lamp, and is considered to be the number one natural healer of SAD.

Diet

As is the case with a huge number of problems, having a healthy diet can really influence the intensity of SAD. Sue Pavlovich also commented on the affect that a balanced diet can have on an individual’s mood. "Nutritionists say that tryptophan boosts serotonin, a mood-enhancing hormone. It is found in eggs, milk, fish, nuts, bananas, dates, oats, chocolate and other foods. It is also sensible to eat complex carbohydrates in preference to refined carbohydrates (for example, wholemeal instead of white bread) and to avoid excessive amounts of these foods in any case."

Awareness

Sharing the problem with your family, friends and boss is really important. SAD is nothing to be embarrassed about, and affects thousands of individuals nationwide. In the case of work, your manager may be able to alter your work hours or sit you nearer a window – things that will enhance your mood and help you beat the winter blues.

Posted by Freya Harper

 
 
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