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Top Natural Ways You Can Beat The Winter Blues

Updated on February 14, 2014

Wintertime Can Seem Pretty Bleak!

Even if your winter surroundings are dreary, you can take positive, measurable steps to stay upbeat and cheerful.
Even if your winter surroundings are dreary, you can take positive, measurable steps to stay upbeat and cheerful.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Is Very Treatable!

During the cold, dark winter months it is not unusual to get the winter blues. This is a common malady consisting of a tired, sluggish feeling and a tendency to be irritable. Symptoms can be mild or very severe. Either way, they should be taken seriously. These symptoms are not just a figment of the imagination. They are actually a diagnosable condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In severe cases, this disorder can be debilitating, and may require medical intervention; however, there are a lot of natural steps you can take to ward off the winter blues before they take hold. We will explore a few here.

Sunlight And Exercise Can Help

In the wintertime it can be hard to get enough sunlight. Cold weather keeps us indoors, and that leads to both inactivity and lack of sun exposure. Both of these problems contribute to the winter blues. To counteract this problem, it is very important to maintain a regular schedule of exercise and to get outside on a regular basis.

Start every day with a light workout to oxygenate your blood and energize your body. A little aerobic exercise in the morning can get you going and increase your levels of mid-brain serotonin for a happier outlook.

There are lots of natural winter activities you can enjoy outdoors that will give you exercise and sunlight. Take your dog for a walk, build a snowman, play in the snow with your kids, rake the leaves or just take an invigorating walk around the neighborhood. It is important to get outside, move around and breathe fresh air. You’ll feel better right away.

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Supplement The Sunlight

One of the main reasons people suffer from the winter blues is the lack of light in winter. For this reason, supplementing with artificial sunlight is a great idea. This can be done in a couple of ways. For some people, using a dawn simulator that gradually increases light in the bedroom at a set time is very helpful. This device has the same effect on the body as being awakened by a natural, early sunrise. This can be very helpful in alleviating SAD symptoms.

Another way light can be used to combat SAD is with the use of a light box. This device emits high intensity light (2500-10000 LUX). This high intensity light produces similar effects to the rays of the sun because it lowers the production of melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep-and-wake cycles.

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Get Proper Nutrition

Sunlight is a source of vitamin D, so it only makes sense to supplement vitamin D in the wintertime. You can get some vitamin D naturally by eating eggs from free-roaming hens and by including fish in your diet.

Eggs are also a good source of B vitamins, which help boost your energy levels and brighten your mood. Other good sources of B vitamins include berries, green leafy veggies, legumes and whole grains.

In addition to getting these two essential vitamins from food sources, it is also an excellent idea to make use of high quality supplements from Vita Living. Generally speaking, if you eat well and take a complete daily multi-vitamin, you will get ample nutrition.

In the wintertime we tend to want comfort foods, and that’s fine as long as they are made using healthful ingredients. If you want macaroni and cheese, make sure it’s whole grain pasta with natural, organic cheese instead of processed products from a box. If you want chili, make a fresh pot with dried beans, plenty of onions, garlic and fresh veggies instead of just opening a can. Learning how to create healthful, whole foods versions of classic comfort foods is a great winter project that can pique your interest and keep you healthy and happy all winter long.

Copyright/SuzanneBennett/February 15, 2014

What Is SAD and What Can You Do About It?


Submit a Comment

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from Texas

    Yes, we had a frozen week or so here in North Texas during December. Roads were solidly iced over almost the entire time. That's very unusual for us here. Many people were quite unhappy! :D

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Great suggestions here about the winter. The cold weather can keep people feeling down especially with so much of continuous snow.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from Texas

    Oh, I don't know. I'm hermit; however, it's by choice and not because of SAD! :D

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    4 years ago

    This is really good information for those who suffer from winter blues. When a friend of mine lived in Wisconsin, she had to resort to artificial lights to simulate sunshine in order to fight depression. Its better to find these options than to become a hermit.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! Actually, in TX today it was in the high 60s. I went for a ride on my mule. Great way to beat the winter blues! :)

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    4 years ago from USA

    Especially right now when folks are buried under too much snow, this is a useful hub.


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