Seasonal Depression, also referred to as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression related to the changes in seasons. It is more commonly experienced in the winter months, when the days become shorter but also happens to some people during the summer. It typically begins and ends at the same time each year, starting by sapping your energy and negatively affecting your mood.
Research shows that one of the best ways to manage seasonal depression is with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day, which boosts your natural defenses against depression. In addition, studies show that people who exercise have lower rates of recurrent depression compared with study participants who do not exercise. These figures emphasis the importance of exercise in promoting good mental health, as well as a trim waistline.
If you live in a northern climate, then 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight each day, by going outside or using a sun lamp, as well as supplementing with vitamin D are critical.
Here are the key pointers to help improve your health year-round:
- Eating regular, nutritious meals throughout the day.
- Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and protein.
- Drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day.
- Get plenty of sleep, approximately 8 hours or more.
- Limiting alcohol consumption.
- Regular exercise, including outside in daylight if possible.
- Vitamin D supplements – please speak with your naturopath, physician, or pharmacist for the right formulation.