The fall season promises many things: cool crisp air, warm scented flavors ruminating throughout, and cozy cable knit sweaters. For many of us, however, the fall is also the beginning of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or simply SAD.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, SAD is a kind of depression that occurs most often in fall or winter, when the days are shorter and colder, there’s less sunlight, and your body produces more melatonin. Anyone who experiences this form of depression knows that blizzards and holidays with your family aren’t the only brutal things to worry about.
Women get SAD more often than men, and the risk increases with age. If you feel more irritable, anxious, drowsy, withdrawn, or depressed this fall, ask your doctor about SAD. In the meantime, xoNecole has compiled a list of tips to help make these next few months more bearable.
The sun is our biggest source of Vitamin D, which is an important component of bone health and calcium absorption. When the days become shorter and darker, however, we lose out on the sun’s natural benefit. It's why it’s important to start taking Vitamin D supplements and consuming vitamin D-rich foods and drinks like salmon, orange juice, mushrooms, dairy milk, and tofu to substitute the benefits we’ll lose from the sun.
Due to the evils of diet culture, we’ve been taught that carbs are a bad thing for you, only to be consumed in small doses. However, carbs are a necessary nutrient that provides us with a needed energy boost. Foods like bananas, apples, beans, cauliflower, and oranges are high in carbs and will help to get you through this sluggish part of the year.
With limited to no energy from the sun during these months, a sun lamp can be the next best thing for those struggling with SAD. A sun lamp is specially made with bulbs that mimic sunlight. This provides you with a needed boost in serotonin, vitamin D, and immune boosting.
A great way to reinvigorate your senses that have gone dormant in response to the cold weather is by doing hot exercises. That includes such activities like hot yoga, hot pilates, hot cycling, and more. With movement plus the heat, hot exercise will help your tight muscles to loosen up while also having a bit of heat infused into your chilly days.
Even with all these tips, it’s still important to know that the best way to honor your body and mind during these darker months is to rest when you can. There’s no shame in a mid-afternoon nap or simply resting for a few minutes to help you recalibrate. If bears can hibernate all winter, then you should certainly be allowed an hour to sleep in the middle of your day.
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