Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with these natural remedies.
Cosy hot chocolates, wrapping up in your favourite winter warmers, and of course, the magical prospect of snow. Winter is a season that encompasses all things snug. However, if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), these seemingly cheerful winter moments could be tainted.
According to the NHS, SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. Although the disorder can appear in summer, it is more prevalent during the winter months. The exact causes of SAD aren’t fully understood, but it’s linked to reduced exposure of sunlight during the winter months. Symptoms of SAD can be lethargy, a persistent low mood and feelings of despair. Even lifting your head off the pillow in the morning may seem tough. While you may feel the light at the end of the tunnel is miles away, there are some things you can do to manage your SAD symptoms. Below are some tips that you may find helpful.
Light therapy is a recognised treatment for SAD. At least 30 minutes of exposure to light per day is proven to increase your mood. It’s thought the light may improve SAD by encouraging your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (a hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (a hormone that affects your mood).
Brands such as Lumie, create light therapy products, such as alarm clocks, that gradually wake you up with light similar to sunlight, making waking up to the cold, dark, winter mornings a little more bearable.
Surrounding yourself with colours that affect your mood positively can contribute to alleviating the symptoms of SAD. According to colour studies, reds can increase our pulse, blood pressure and adrenaline and when combined with yellow, it can make us feel hungry. So, what are the best colours for someone suffering from SAD? Calming colours such as blues, pale greys and pastel yellows act as tranquil shades. Surrounding yourself with these colours could help lift SAD symptoms, from smaller additions such as clothing, or a piece of art. To larger, and perhaps more effective changes, consider the colour of your walls in your home. This could be as simple as your window shutters or curtains. Why not try putting your interior design hat on, the addition of window shutters in your home will not only let vital sunlight in, proven to help with SAD, but some companies offer coloured options too.
Just Shutters, a luxury plantation shutter company, have a Coastal Range of coloured shutters. Inspired by the British Coast, the shades range from Horizon, include a misty grey blue, to Dune a neutral pastel gold. These would be the ideal addition to any home needing a positive colour boost.
Chris Rocker, the founder of Just Shutters, said; ‘The idea behind our coloured plantation shutters, was not only to add style to the home, but to ensure the homeowner felt a sense of calm and tranquillity every time they go to open and close the shutters. The colours are subtle, tasteful and above all carefully toned to ensure longevity of style in your home.’
It goes without saying that a relaxing warm bath and some pamper time can soothe both the body and the mind. It may sound obvious but taking some time out and looking after yourself can improve the symptoms of SAD. Epsom Salts and Aromatherapy products are designed to draw toxins from the body, sedate the nervous system, reduce swelling and relax muscles. SAD doesn’t necessarily just affect you mentally, the disorder can take its toll on your body also.
Try a 20-minute soak in a warm bath at least once a week. Add a big dose of Epsom Salts, or alternatively use some lavender essential oil and let the scent fill the room. For some luxury oils, visit Aromatherapy Associates and for a variety of salts, visit Dr Salts.com.
House plants not only look lovely, but they can also positively affect the quality of the air we breathe and improve our mood significantly. They essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. It is also proven that gardening can reduce stress levels. Although you may not want to venture outside at this time of year, even watering your house plants can be a way of combatting SAD. This is an inexpensive way to not only feel better, but your home will look better too! For some healthy house plant inspiration, visit – Patch Plants.
Try getting outside and enjoy a 30 to 40-minute walk in your local park. This little bit of fresh air is a great way of getting the vital exercise and exposure to sunlight you need.