winter blues

11 Ways You can Beat the Winter Blues that Actually Work

Are you struggling with the winter blues this cold season and looking for some depression remedies at home to try?

In this article you will learn just a few effective home remedies to help you treat your seasonal depression this year.

All are proven to be effective at helping to lift the mood and better get you through these colder and darker days of the year.

There is plenty of information here to help you find what exactly you are needing for yourself. With options from essential oils to seasonal depression lamps to eating more protein!

So, keep reading to find out how you can beat your winter blues!

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Remedies for Treating Winter Blues

Though seasonal depression can be tricky to treat it isn’t impossible by any means especially not with so many depression remedies at home to try!

These ten depression remedies can help you to improve your mood, alleviate anxiety, sleep better, and generally enjoy day to day life more.

And don’t forget to read till the end to see if you are at a higher risk of having seasonal affective depression and what the symptoms are!

Disclaimer: I am not a health care practitioner or a doctor. The information in this post is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal health care advice in any way. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information included in this article. It is always best to consult a health care professional for advice on your own personal health needs.

1.    Seasonal Depression Lamp

Using a seasonal depression lamp or more commonly called a light therapy box has been shown to be very effective! Which is why it is at the top of this list when it comes to seasonal depression remedies at home!

Seasonal affected disorder or SAD can be caused by the lack of sunlight during the darker and colder months.

Unlike the regular light bulbs that you have around the house a light therapy box better mimics natural sunlight. It also provides the light in more natural wavelengths.

Most find this seasonal depression lamp to be most effective when used for 30 minutes a day upon awakening.

Most people even find it to significantly improve their mood within two weeks of daily use. But you can used it throughout the season if you deal with a longer period of SAD.

If you suffer from SAD you might want to invest in a small light therapy lamp to help during the darker months.

2.    Take Vitamin D

Vitamin D which is often called liquid sunshine or vitamin sunshine has often been linked to SAD. Making it the perfect depression natural remedy to try this season.

Many people regularly need to take vitamin D already as we do not absorb enough naturally from sunlight. So, you can speak to your doctor about taking a larger amount during winter.

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3.    Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be very effective for SAD as it helps to stimulate the mind and body.

It can help you to sleep better at night, have a healthy appetite, as well as lift your general mood.

Some of the best essential oils for the winter blues are lavender, orange, bergamot, and ylang ylang essential oil.

You can add them to a carrier oil to use on your body, add them to an essential oil diffuser, or create your own mood lifting smelling salts.

4.    Get Moving

Exercise is a common form of depression natural remedy and it is just as effective for seasonal depression.

Moving around and getting the body working is a great way of naturally lifting your mood as well as battling weight gain that often happens with SAD.

It is best if you can exercise daily outside but if the weather is just too bad you can exercise indoors. Preferably in front of a window.

winter blues

5.    Journal

Journaling is one of those self-care activities that we should all be dipping our toes into!

But it is especially effective for helping you to beat the winter blues as it allows you to contemplate your day.

Journaling provides an outlet to help you release your negative feelings in a safe way while also allowing you to reflect on the positive.

Try keeping two journals that you write in at the end of each day. One can be for your negative emotions and fears and the other can be where you record the good things that happened that day.

6.    Take Rhodiola 

Rhodiola is a great herbal alternative to the traditional antidepressants as it creates anti-stress effects on the mind and body.

It is especially effective for seasonal depression and the winter blues and can even help with the cognitive side effects of depression.

You can take rhodiola early in the day on an empty stomach for best results. Over time it can even help with the sluggish fatigue that often associates with depression.

You can try out this herbal remedy by snagging a bottle of these rhodiola capsules for ease of use!

7.    Let the Light in

As we talked about when discussing the use of a seasonal depression lamp. The natural light of the sun can do wonders for helping you to cope with the winter blues.

Try to take walks outside, have a snow ball fight, walk instead of driving, and sit outside as much as you can.

Even if it is cold you can bundle up and take a brisk walk outside for a few minutes to help improve your mood.

You can also keep your windows uncovered to let the sunlight into your home as much as possible.

8.    Try Passionflower

Out of all of the herbs that I have studied passionflower has most stuck out as the mental health herb.

It is considered to be one of the first herbs you should try for seasonal depression because it is just that good!

It is also commonly used to treat anxiety which can prove helpful if part of your SAD comes from fear or anxiety.

You can take passionflower in many different forms from tinctures for a more immediate effect or teas and capsules for a more gentle effect.

Keep in mind that passionflower can interfere with medications such as blood thinners, antihistamines, antidepressants and more. So, speak to your doctor first.

I personally would stick to taking passionflower capsules until you know how your body reacts to them.

9.    Stick to a Schedule

When you are suffering from SAD you might find yourself becoming unmotivated, lethargic, unproductive, and with a poor sleep schedule.

Keeping a schedule not only helps you to be up and about which improves your mood, but it also allows you to get regular sunlight throughout the day.

With any kind of depression, it is important to stay up and about. Keeping active during the day so that you can better rest at night.

Which is why this is one of the best depression remedies at home that you can do with very minimal effort.

Check out this article on Ways to Get More Sleep for more ideas!

10. Eat More Protein

Believe it or not eating more protein can help with seasonal depression as it helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.

By doing this protein can help to uplift your mood on a daily basis.

Try eating more protein rich foods or snacking on protein heavy snacks such as nuts and seeds.

11.  Take St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is such a powerful herb for depression that it is often considered to be a reliable alternative to popular antidepressants!

It brings relief from depression, anxiety, mental health issues, and can even help you to sleep better at night.

Most people take st. John’s wort supplements in the evening to help with depression and anxiety as well as to help them sleep better.

This herb can also have interactions with other medications, however. So, proceed with caution and consult your doctor first.

What Causes Seasonal Depression?

Interestingly enough SAD isn’t just a winter thing despite the term winter blues. People can even get seasonal affective depression during all of the other seasons.

Most often SAD during the winter is caused by a lack of natural sunshine making your internal clock feel thrown off and disturbed.

A lack of sunlight can also cause a significant drop in the brain’s serotonin levels.

General changing of the seasons can also mess with the bodies balance of melatonin which can interfere with your sleep patterns and mood.

The most common symptoms of seasonal affective depression are:

  • Depression
  • Low energy levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Negative thoughts
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping or over sleeping

You will be at a higher risk of having SAD if you live far from the equator, have a family history of SAD or depression, or already struggle with mental health issues.

References:

Mayo Clinic n.d., Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), viewed September 11,2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651.

Jesse Neumann 2019, Manage Seasonal Affective Disorder with Essential oils, Corner Home Medical, viewed September 11, 2020, https://cornermedical.com/manage-seasonal-affective-disorder-with-essential-oils/.

 

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