Does winter cause you to feel more down/blue than other seasons? It’s not just you. It’s actually called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Without proper sun exposure, your body’s serotonin levels drop. So you are at higher risk of seasonal depression. The serotonin that sunlight helps our brains produce gives us the energy we need to think, focus, and complete tasks throughout the day. Not enough Vitamin D is known to cause fatigue.
To combat those feelings or help prevent them, you can:
– Spend more time outside, even when it’s cloudy. A simple test is to look at your shadow. If it’s the same height or shorter than you, you’re getting enough sun to make vitamin D.
– Try sitting/laying under specified light therapy lamps for 20-30 minutes a day. They can be purchased online.
– Be/stay social. Interactions with other people generally help your mood.
– Exercise for 30 minutes 3x a week. They don’t have to be intense, but enough that get you physically active for a while. It can boost your brain’s endorphins and serotonin (good chemicals).
– Vitamins/supplements: Vitamin D, lean proteins, Omega-3 acids, folic acid, B vitamins, melatonin, tryptophan. Oatmeal, whole grain bread, brown rice, and bananas can increase serotonin levels. Consuming these vitamins naturally found in foods (or supplements) will help your body prevent or fight off the lack of energy and sad feelings or depression.
– If you’re already on regular medication or feel this is more than you can take, ALWAYS talk to your doctor/ medical professional for your individual needs.
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