Daylight savings is over on the first Sunday in November, which means up to 10 million Americans are gearing up for seasonal depression. While changing to standard time is inevitable, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) doesn't need to be. Lighten up the darker days as we observe daylight savings time. Here are some tips to help with seasonal depression during the longer winter days.
1. Be Interactive
It seems like once daylight savings time ends, many of us enter hibernation mode. We're not bears. Hiding under your covers all day is not healthy!
Interacting with our loved ones is essential for mental health. Studies show that hugs increase oxytocin, a hormone that produces calmness throughout the body.
Cuddle up with your children. Go for a hike with an old friend. Adopt a pet. Spend quality time with people (and furbabies) that you care about.
2. Get Your Veggies In
Hate to burst your winter feasts, but you need to add some greens to your plate. Every color on a fruit or vegetable denotes a different family of antioxidants.
- Red, Yellow & Orange- Carotenoids, (ex: lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene) that reduce stress
- Green - Chlorophyll that can boost ATP, which helps us create and save energy
- Blue & Purple - Flavonoids, like anthocyanins, that support a good mood
- White - Quercetin supports cognition and memory
In addition to antioxidants, fruits and veggies have B-Vitamins that act as catalysts for many brain cells. If you are still struggling to increase your fruit and veggie intake, consider getting a full spectrum multivitamin like Newport Natural Health's LifeMax.
3. Fill Up On Fats
Now, we don't want you sitting around with a tub of ice cream while binge-watching Netflix to handle your post-daylight savings depression. However, you should fill up on healthy fats, like those in the form of omega-3s.
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. They can bypass the blood-brain barrier to protect cells from damage.
Fill up on foods like:
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Wild-Caught Fish
- Nut Butters
Eating lots of fats can get filling, and some of these foods are a bit pricey. You can offset the cost by eating leaner proteins (chicken, turkey, beans) and supplementing with high-quality omega-3 supplements, such as Newport Natural Health's Omega-D3 with Astaxanthin.
4. Spend Time Outdoors
We know that the cold makes it easier to stay inside. However, being indoors all winter is a significant trigger for SAD. These feelings can become even worse for those who work from home.
It is crucial you get adequate exposure to sunlight. This is your body's primary source of Vitamin D, a critical nutrient that is essential for the production of serotonin, our joy molecule.
Try to get 17-43 minutes outside per day. Take your dog for a walk, go for a light jog, or make a fun TikTok video. Get outside and get moving!
5. Light Therapy
A large reason why we experience seasonal depression after daylight savings is because our body clock gets thrown off. Light dictates our circadian rhythm, the biological clock that dictates our sleep-wake cycle, hormone production, and more!
The days are shorter and we're indoors longer in the winter. So, many people are turning to light therapy. They use a 10,000 lux light therapy box about 16-24 inches from their face for 20-30 minutes daily.
it is crucial the light enters your eyes so that it charges the pineal gland. This gland controls our circadian rhythm and melatonin production.
6. Get Regular Sleep
There is a strong connection between depression and sleep problems. Improve your mood by regulating your sleep patterns.
Getting more sunlight should help get your sleep back on track. Realistically, many people won't use that advice as much as others. We get it. It's cold out!
So, foster healthy sleep patterns by using a non-habit-forming sleep-aid, like Tranquility Labs' Sleep-Fast Enhanced Melatonin Spray.
This all-natural spray contains botanicals that calm the mind. It also has melatonin to help kickstart the sleeping process until your natural hormones start to produce.
It's easy to say, "daylight savings times causes depression." However, there might be more to the story, and we're using this time change as an excuse.
Journaling is an excellent way to get to the root of your mental health problems. It is a moment for you to be honest with yourself. There are no outside judgments or opinions swaying your thoughts. These are your moments to be candid.
It's best to journal first thing in the morning, jot down things like:
- Your Dreams
- New Ideas
- Tasks You'd Like to Accomplish
- Solutions to Problems
- Reasons You're Grateful
Let these entries set the tone for your day. They can give you a sense of purpose, relief, or support.
Speaking of starting your day off right, get some exercise in. Our bodies long for exercise. In fact, they thank us with feel-good hormones after a workout.
If joining a gym is not your scene, consider getting an indoor system, like a Peloton. Otherwise, there are plenty of YouTube videos with pilates, yoga, and kettlebell exercises.
Not only does exercise make you feel good, but it also makes you look good, too. You'll have your summer bod ready before daylight savings time starts that first Sunday in March 2022!
9. Go On Vacation
Hey, if you don't like where you are, then go somewhere you want to be. If you're longing to observe DST again, then bring the longer days to you.
Leave the United States and go somewhere where the weather is warmer, like the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico! Who doesn’t need a nice coconut drink on the beach?
Remember, sun is crucial for Vitamin D production, which is important for your mood. So, get more sun and relaxation in by going on the vacation of your dreams.
Supporting your mental health is an ongoing process. It's okay to get a little back-up. One of the most effective supplements for seasonal depression is Tranquility Labs' Tranquilene Total Calm.
This all-natural supplement has many of the crucial mood-enhancing vitamins and minerals we went over today, including B-Vitamins and Vitamin D.
It also contains everything your body needs to create GABA and serotonin. These neurotransmitters promote feelings of calm and joy, respectively. That's all the feels you should feel during the winter...and all year long!
- About 10 million people in the United States get Seasonal Depression
- Vitamin D is crucial for our mental well-being
- Stay active, go on vacation, and spend time with loved ones