5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

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As the weather gets worse, with less and less sun light, more people are susceptible to the dreaded “winter blues”. Here are some proven tips that can help you deal with the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)

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1. BLUE LIGHT

Ironically, the answer for the blues can be…a blue lamp! The colour blue can simulate daylight, which regulates the melanin production in the brain. Melanin is directly related to depression. You can take a look at some HERE!

2. OMEGA-3

Many studies have linked Omega-3 deficiency to depression and S.A.D. Make sure that you’re taking the recommended amount, either by increasing your intake through your diet (spinach, fish and linseeds are good sources) or by taking a supplement. (Always consult your GP before changing your diet or adding supplements.)

3. KAVA

Also known as ‘kava-kava’, this plant hailing from the South Pacific has been used by Islanders for centuries. It can affect brain chemistry in similar ways to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, and can promote restful sleep. You can take it as a tincture, tea or pill and powder forms. (Kava has been known to cause negative side-effects in some people, so make sure to consult a healthcare professional)

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4. COFFEE
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system elevating serotonin and dopamine levels. Again, the only awareness here is the dosage: up to 4 cups a day is okay, but no more! We’re not telling you to dose yourself just with coffee, the 4 cups recommendation also includes tea (the Irish black tea has more caffeine than an espresso, by the way) and soda drinks. And why can you not consume more than this? One word: insomnia. If you don’t sleep well, your body won’t be able to produce all those lovely neurotransmitters, including the ones directly related to your humor (serotonin, dopamine) and you will need another huge cup of coffee in the morning to reboot your system and the vicious cycle continues. If you’re ready to give up of your coffee, try this.

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5. EXERCISE
I know, no one wants to go out in this weather, but have you ever considered something that you can do at home, like yoga? You can take online classes – all you need is a mat. Alternatively, you can jog up and down the stairs of your building or take the dog for a walk.

If you want to learn more on this topic check out

“THE INSTINCT TO HEAL: Curing Stress, Anxiety and Depression without drugs and without talk therapy”, by David Servan- Schreiber, M.D., PHD., (physician, neuroscientist and author) – Rodale Books, 2004.