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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

4 Ways to Manage Seasonal Lows

If you experience seasonal lows — or what’s commonly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — you may be feeling less than your best this time of year.

SAD impacts nearly half a million Americans and those who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol are highly susceptible. That’s because, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than 20 percent of patients with any mood disorder are also living with a substance use disorder.

SAD can cause feelings of depression, irritability and fatigue and it can impact your everyday life. The cause isn’t exactly known, but a lack of light and vitamin D, a nutrient made by the body when exposed to sunlight, are likely culprits.

So, in addition to spending as much time outside as possible, what else can you do to lift your mood? Hint: Some of the same healthy habits that will help your recovery.
  1. Work out: Once again, exercise tops the list for overall wellness. And breaking a sweat can certainly combat the winter blues. Studies have linked exercise to fewer depression symptoms, most likely due to its ability to stimulate the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which impacts mood.
  2. Eat properly: Proper nutrition is yet another powerful tool to keep your mind and body happy all season long. Specifically, eating omega-3-rich foods (think fatty fish and nuts) has been study-proven to help alleviate the winter doldrums. 
  3. Stay social: Surrounding yourself with positive people can have a positive impact on your mood. Similarly, doing a good deed for someone else, through volunteering, can make you happier and more confident as you weather the seasonal lows. 
  4. Make a mind-body connection: Yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage have all been shown to decrease the symptoms of SAD, resulting in better sleep and less stress and anxiety. 
Holistic Healing at The Haven
We offer a variety of holistic treatment approaches, including acupuncture and massage and yoga and meditation to our clients. To learn more, call 805-202-3440.