How To Beat SAD At Home Successfully

The winter is just around the corner, and you don’t need to look any further: The winter slump is already here! As the temperatures drop, most people suffer from a form of winter blues. The days feel a lot less exciting and entertaining than they were during the summer. At least it’s how the winter blues tainted glasses make you perceive them. Every year, treatments can include a variety of expensive cures. From booking an all-inclusive beach holiday in a tropical destination in the middle of winter to receiving bright light therapy at home or in a specialist clinic. While it’s true that the typical winter slump shouldn’t be ignored, more often than not, you have everything you need at home to fight it off effectively. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consult your doctor if you’re struggling with seasonal depression otherwise known as SAD. None of the tips shared in this article can replace medical expertise and knowledge. But you can find at home plenty of support and items to get your happy smile back if you tackle the winter slump early.

SAD

How To Beat SAD At Home Successfully

 

What is SAD?

It’s important, first of all, to define exactly what SAD is. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, is a form of depression that tends to occur around the same time every year. While SAD tends to be more commonly associated with winter, some people experience seasonal depression in fall, spring or even summer. Even though SAD is also known under the friendly term winter blues, it’s not something you should take lightly.

 

Every year, 5% of the US population is affected. Despite its seasonality, SAD can show all the typical symptoms of depression. These include; lack of concentration, apathy, loss of interest, decreased libido, mood swings, high stress and difficulties in maintaining social contacts. You can also find symptoms that are more typical of the winter depression, such as carb cravings, excessive sleepiness and, as a result of the two, weight gain. But individuals who are severely affected are more likely to develop destructive tendencies. This is why you should never self-medicate if you suspect you’ve got SAD. However, you can help your body to deal with the seasonal changes positively with the following tips.

 

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#1. Let there be light!

The reduced level of sunlight affects your body. It can impact the production of serotonin – the hormone responsible for controlling your mood. Someone with a typical form of SAD can experience periods of euphoria and mania in spring and summer and apathy and misery during the colder and darker months of the year. Consequently, the first step you can take to reduce the risk of developing seasonal affective disorder is to maximize the natural light in your home. Indeed, natural light encourages the production of serotonin. So, it can, therefore, boost your mood. When the days grow shorter – as it is the case now – you need to be smart about your home decor to balance natural light without losing any warmth. The first rule of bringing more light into your home is to free the access to all your windows. Your furniture should not block the sunlight from coming inside. Additionally, your window ledges need to be clean of clutter. If you’re willing to invest in home improvement projects, the addition of a skylight can make a great deal of difference in winter. Needless to say, you will need to ensure you’ve got high-quality curtains and blinds to keep your space dark when you need to – such as at night.

 

SAD

 

#2. Nothing that can’t be purged by fire

Who doesn’t love sitting by a crackling fire? Here’s a hint: Nobody. Indeed, studies led by expert anthropologists have highlighted that people feel more relaxed in the vicinity of a fireplace. The more they watch and listen to the fire, the more their blood pressure drop.

Historically, people have evolved to enjoy the presence of fire as it has offered a multisensory experience since the prehistoric times. It was used for protection, cooking, light, and warmth, without mentioning a sense of social cohesion that gathered people around the fire. The stress and anxiety that can arise from seasonal depression can literally go in flames when you sit in front of a fire.

In other words, something as simple as using your fireplace or a freestanding wood heater if you don’t have an inbuilt fireplace – you can find it here, for instance – can make you more resilient to depression.

 

SAD

 

#3. Start the day with a large glass of O juice

Vitamin C is the worst-kept anti cold secret. Most households stack tubes of vitamin C to use to boost the immune system as the cold and flu season starts. Consequently, it’s fair to say that you probably pack your grocery shopping list with plenty of vitamin C sources, from fresh vegetables to oranges. But, it doesn’t mean that you are getting enough vitamin.

Indeed, vitamin C deficiency is widespread among people who follow a restrictive diet and breastfeeding women . Severe deficiency can cause scurvy which is extremely rare in modern countries. A deficiency is known to lead to depression and submissive behaviors. Ultimately, increasing your intake in vitamin C can actively help your body to fight off the SAD symptoms. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can supply you with everything you need to combat winter with a smile.

 

SAD

 

#4. Time for a bath

According to psychologist Neil Morris, taking a bath makes you feel more optimistic. It even actively affect your mood by encouraging you to feel more pleasure, both mentally and physically. It’s not always easy to find time for a bath during the week, You should make sure to schedule some necessary me time in the bathroom. At least during the weekend, try to fully relax and recharge your batteries in a soothing, warm bath.

You can find comfort in the few minutes of peace that you get when you take a bath – which isn’t the kind of thing you can find in a shower. If you want to dive into a sensory experience that can blitz your worries away, add some drops of essential oil to your bath. Lavender is perfect for relaxing after a busy week. You can also try citrus and cinnamon for a boost for vibrant energy.

 

SAD

 

#5. Love your greens

No, it has nothing to do with eating your greens. On the contrary, these greens are not made for eating. They’re made for enhancing your space. Indeed, your houseplants are not only good for your house, but they are also essential to your health. According to an extensive study by NASA, houseplants can significantly purify your indoor air – by removing up to 87% of toxin in a day. But they can also reduce your stress levels and lift your mood significantly.

Consequently, now’s the time to build a cozy plant sanctuary in your living room. As plants can be an integral part of your decor, it’s important to choose them wisely. Spider plants, for instance, are low maintenance and propagate easily. So you can fill your entire home with only one plant. A succulent is an excellent beginner’s plant if you don’t have a green thumb. Succulents are almost impossible to destroy and keep a vibrant shade of green all year long!

 

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#6. Make yourself a nice cuppa

If you’re not a green tea drinker, it’s not too late to take on new habits. Green tea is famous for its health benefits, as it’s a go-to ingredient for healthy eaters. But what you might not have known is that green tea can actively fight off the symptoms of depression. Indeed, L-theanine, a component of green tea, can stimulate the production of brain waves – alpha waves – which encourage a relaxed state.

It can also increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Unfortunately, to enjoy the positive effects of green tea, you need to select Japanese teas that are naturally high in L-theanine. A minimum of 4 cups a day can cancel the effects of SAD.

 

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#7. The kitchen is the happiest room

Some foods can positively affect your mood. But creating a kitchen ritual around mindful and creative cooking can also lift your spirits. Indeed, cooking is more than just a means to an end. It satisfies a natural need to nurture the mind too. Giving you the opportunity to be creative with your recipes. Spending time in your kitchen can help you to reduce your stress levels and reconnect with your mind and body.

 

SAD

 

#8. Add colors and playful touches

Your home needs to evolve with you. While winter is a season that lacks colors, you can compensate its grayness through vibrant additions to your home decor. A handmade cushion cover can engage your creativity. And bring a joyful accent in the living room, for instance. You can also create seasonal decorations to hang in the house.

 

Even though SAD is also known under the friendly term winter blues, it’s not something you should take lightly.

 

Creativity, vitamin C and the sound of fire, these are some of the most unexpected remedies to get rid of SAD before it takes you down. Ultimately, you need to learn to listen to your body in winter. Then you can react quickly and turn your home into your seasonal happy place.

 

 

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