Seasonal Affective Disorder is Killer of the Holiday Spirit.
Can brain foods help with the seasonal "lows" many of us may be facing?
Ahhh, the holidays. A time when warm family tradition and the excitement of togetherness blends into a delightful, antsy, mooshy gooshy… depression?
Yup. I get sad around the holidays. Sad about everything. The gray weather (where I live) and dwindling sunlight hours begin a cycle where the days get shorter, but seem to never end. I feel guilty about it, too. Guilty for not spreading the holiday spirit that’s possessed everybody else’s soul.
Luckily i’m not alone. My cycle of depression starts in September and slowly gains momentum until it’s heart-wrenching December climax, then slowly fades in intensity and finally dies in spring. As many as 10 Million other Americans experience the same cycle, or something similar, according to Psychology Today (Link Here).
Here’s a short list of the common symptoms:
- Lack of motivation.
- Mild to severe depression.
- Feelings of hopelessness.
- Craving sweets or carbohydrate rich foods.
- Exhaustion and feeling tired upon waking in the morning.
So what shall we do? Besides eat a pizza...in bed...for breakfast…
Try changing your diet! This is the path I have chosen in the past, and while eating healthy sounds like one more chore to pile on the already overwhelming list, it really does help.
The list of brain healthy foods below can be combined to form a delicious (maybe), and healthy (probably), depression fighting meal.
Here’s the top 3 brain foods to start with:
What have you done to effectively improve your own SAD symptoms?
If changing your diet doesn’t help, you can also explore light-therapy. I’ll leave that for another article, but studies have shown light therapy boxes can be effective, especially in combination with the brain healthy foods mentioned above.
Finally, there’s always medication. For some people, drugs are a last resort, but there’s no shame at all in getting proper treatment for what can be a very serious condition.
So try changing your diet, try getting more sunlight, and remember that this will all be over soon.