As promised the second part to old man winter! Winter blues is a common phrase often heard come early dawn and brutal sunless cold days. Many people fall into seasonal depression(SAD) merely based on the seasonal change and caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that governs the primary functions of the body such as appetite, temperature, sleep, sex drive, mood and activity.
Winter brings shorter days and less of those days are filled with sunshine, people tend to move less in the winter falling into an even more sedentary lifestyle then what they may already be accustomed to. The hypothalamus is stimulated by natural light entering the eye and striking the retina. When the days are short and sunlight is reduced the hypothalamus has to adjust its response to the various body mechanisms, slowing down these functions.
The most common symptoms associated with the winter blues include fatigue, oversleeping, low energy, carbohydrate and sugar cravings, weight gain, low sex drive, lack of concentration hopelessness and social withdrawal.
So instead of walking around with the frown lets flip it upside down! Here are my top 16 natural tips for kicking the winter blues!
#1 Vitamin D- increase your vitamin D intake, I personally rev up to 10,000 IU during the winter seasons and I always choose a liquid Vit D. Vitamin D defiantly helps boots mood and cognitive performance. Also see previous post on Vit Dhttp://aintnosugarcoating.com/2011/09/29/dumb-diddley-d/
#2 Get high on good herbs- St. John’s Wort, Passiflora and Skullcap have all been proven beneficial in treating season depression. Choose to use them as a tea or find the in capsules.
# 3 MOVE THAT ASS! Exercise has never failed anyone, get up and move around!! Exercise release the feel good hormones!
#4 5-HTP- The 5HTP supplement can be a precursor to increase serotonin levels DO NOT TAKE IF TAKING ANY SSIR MEDICATION SEVER CONTRADICTIONS
#5 L-tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephrine (the feel good hormone) , and it’s good for those who don’t respond to most antidepressant drugs.
# 6 Oranges: The Vitamin C offered in oranges and citrus fruits can help your body produce dopamine.
#7 Dark Chocolate : Pure 100% DARK CHOCOLATE boost your spirits with a dark chocolate treat.
# 8 B-12 can give you great energy and is a great mood lifter.
# 9 Sam- e. This coenzyme enhances cognitive function, and can treat depression as well as other psychiatric illnesses.
#10 Fish Oil .Some instances of depression can be from a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, and fish oil can help treat the nutritional roots of this deficiency.
#11 Folic Acid. A deficiency in folate can cause depression and other mood disorders, so make sure you’re getting enough of this supplement.
#12 Turkey and Chicken both contain tryptophan and B6 which help produce serotonin and other amino acids that help boost the mood
#13 Water : Dehydration can cause fatigue and depression, so be sure to drink enough water.
# 14 Walnuts: Try walnuts as a snack for omega 3 fatty acids and uridine that can elevate your mood.
#15 Spinach: Turn to spinach for a good source of folic acid, which can help you maintain proper physical and mental health.
# 16 Whole Grains: Whole grains can help you produce healthy amounts of serotonin.
Take care of yourself and don’t be down and out, winter is beautiful embrace it, it is what it is !!!! Happy Winter people!