Increase your exposure to natural light by going outside, opening blinds and curtains, and spending time in the sunniest room of the house. Also try light therapy with a light box or sunlight lamp.
The aroma of essential oils from fruits, flowers and herbs are believed to influence the limbic system—an area of the brain responsible for controlling mood. Citrus oils make many of us feel more cheerful.
The herb show above, St. John’s wort, has been used for centuries to elevate mood. A British Medical Journal study of research into the plant has shown it may be useful in cases of mild depression, such as SAD.
When you exercise, the brain releases chemicals called endorphins that help reduce stress, anxiety and feelings of depression.
Research shows that dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa boosts chemicals associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure.
Suicide Awareness & Prevention
Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages and ethnicities are at risk for suicide. Depression is listed first among causes of suicide by the National Institute of Mental Health. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800/273-8255.
The SAD Stats: A snapshot in numbers
10: Population, in millions, of people who are diagnosed with SAD.
75%: Percentage of SAD sufferers who are female.
18-30: The age span when SAD usually occurs first.
6%: Percentage of people with SAD who must be hospitalized for treatment.
Know Your Supplements
FISH OIL: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements have been found to help rebalance and stabilize mood. Acids are found in fish such as salmon.
VITAMIN B6: This vitamin may be helpful in treatment of mild depression. The best natural sources are sunflower seeds, pistachios and fish.
VITAMIN B12: This may increase the effectiveness of antidepressant medications. The best natural sources are shellfish, liver and fish.
FOLIC ACID: Studies suggest that depressed people have low folate levels. Folic acid is a supplement form; natural folates occur in veggies.