The winter season brings with it many changes such as shorter days, less sunlight, and cold weather. Along with this many people get the feeling of depression or “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. Many years ago this was something that little was known about. Actually it wasn’t until the 1980’s when a connection was made between mood disorders and the change in the seasons. A Mental Health doctor by the name of Norman E. Rosenthal is responsible for making the connection between the change in weather and season depression or Season Affective Disorder as he and his colleagues named it.

Fortunately for those people who are affected by this disorder, there are some easy ways to combat the winter blues.

Using Herbs To Elevate Your Mood

There are many herbs or supplements available that can help raise your low moods and make you feel better. When there is a loss of sunlight there is also a loss of natural chemicals or substances in our body that help control mood. Try using natural herbs like the ones found in my drink miniCHILL to help combat low moods, stress, or anxiety.

Get Out and Get Some Exercise

Yes it’s cold outside and you’ll find it hard to probably get up and get outside when you have SAD (Season Affective Disorder) but if you can get more light and some light exercise, you will boost the serotonin levels in your body and you’ll feel a whole lot better. Getting out and taking a walk during the short daylight hours of winter can have a very positive affect. Your body will produce more vitamin D and you’ll feel better the rest of the day. Try my recommended vitamin D by Metagenics.

Eating The Right Foods Can Make a Big Difference in Mood

When most people are sad or feeling depressed there is always the temptation to eat lots of sugary treats like candy or chocolate. And while these might improve your mood, the effect is only temporary. The problem is that after the effect of the ‘sugar high’ wears off, you’ll likely have a mood much lower than before. So it’s important to eat the right types of foods and stay away from things like white rice and white bread that raise insulin levels in the body. Stick with lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains like whole wheat bread. Other great foods to eat that will help your body produce higher levels of serotonin are nuts and beans.

Changing Your Surroundings Can Improve Your Mood

They say that your surroundings inside your home can have a great effect on your mood and cheerfulness. So what to do? Surround yourself with the things you love. Get some plants and some indoor flowers; paint your walls bright colors like orange, green, and blue. Make the place you spend most of your time happy and cheerful.

Don’t Drink Alcohol or Caffeinated Beverages

During long winter nights you might find yourself wanting to drink hot coffee or even drink alcohol thinking that it can help when in fact it will do just the opposite. Caffeine can give you an energy boost, and may lift your spirits temporarily, but along with this can come higher anxiety and it could make you feel even worse. Alcohol is a depressant and can only worsen the problem with having depression or a low mood. It is better to drink soothing and calming herbal teas like Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint, and Cinnamon Teas.

Jillian Panzella is a nutritionist and nutrition consultant in NYC and is also a specialist in Weight Loss for Women, Pregnancy Nutrition, and natural weight loss. Contact Jillian today to see how she can help you.