Beating the Winter Blues: Tips for Staving off Seasonal Affective Disorder
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Anyone who dealt with the arctic blasts and frigid temperatures that recently swept across much of the US may be dealing with a case of the winter blues right about now. Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD) tends to take hold around this time of year. With no holidays to look forward to and at least 3 more months of cold, dark days before us, it can be easy to fall into a rut and/or crippling winter-induced depression. But there’s hope. Here are a few things you can do to lessen the sting of the winter blues.

Here are a few things you can do to lessen the sting of the winter blues.


When you’re inside all day, your Vitamin D levels can plummet. In subzero temps, we don’t blame you, but you’ve got to step into the light somehow. Check out light therapy which has been shown to help 80% of cases of SAD. A vitamin supplement may help as well.


While SAD may have you craving pasta and reaching for cookies, try to resist. As delicious as these carbs are, they can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, which can cause mood fluctuations (and also add to that winter paunch). Instead, add salmon, leafy greens, whole grains, bananas, and nuts to your shopping list to get the vitamins you need to help stave off SAD.


Yeah, we know. When you’re feeling down, exercising is pretty much the last thing you want to do. But during an intense gym session, your body releases endorphins that will boost your mood. An 2013 article in the American College of Sports Medicine Journal suggested that for some people, exercise may be as effective as therapy or anti-depressants. Plus, you’re sure to be in beach-ready shape when the time comes around.

Try Aromatherapy

Think aromatherapy is only for when you’re getting a massage? Think again. Essential oils have been used for nearly 6,000 years for therapeutic and spiritual purposes. Today, there is growing research on how essential oils can be used to boost one’s mood and relieve stress. Try putting bergamot or lavender oil in a diffuser near your bed while you sleep.

Keep a Regular Schedule

Maintaining a regular schedule is important throughout the year for your productivity, but it’s even more important in the winter. You’ll be exposed to light at consistent times, which will help your sleep pattern, and you’ll also be more likely to eat at regular intervals, helping you to maintain a healthy weight.

Keep in mind that these tips are targeted at those dealing with mild cases of SAD. If your symptoms are persistent or severe, reach out to your healthcare provider to get help.