The cooler weather in the fall and winter means shorter days with less sunlight. For 14 percent of the US population, the season change triggers the winter blues. And for another 6 percent of Americans, the start of winter leads to full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). When it’s dark outside when you wake up and go to sleep, your energy levels can take a hit. Spending more time indoors can also lead to spending more time in the kitchen and before you know it you’re eating more of the fall/holiday food than you intended, which for me (Daniel) can lead to carb comas and crashes. On top of more starches, smaller amounts of vitamin D from the sun can often introduce symptoms of depression and anxiety for the fall and winter months. However there is good news!! There are several options to treat the winter blues and SAD (exercise, journaling, light therapy, integrating new routines, etc.) Because mental health is so important to us, we want to share some of the ways that we manage these symptoms.
We know waking up early in the freezing cold and dark hours is not particularly inviting—especially when your warm bed is sooooo comfortable! But making time to sweat out toxins, increase serotonin levels and release endorphins is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer! Exercise helps to boost your mood and keeps those symptoms of depression and anxiety at bay. Finding 20 minutes just three times a week (outside in the sunshine to get vitamin D, if possible!) increases your energy levels and is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
Sharing your feelings and experiences with a trusted support system can help alleviate feelings of sadness or anxiety that often surface during this busy time of year. Trust me, you aren’t alone. Whether you’re caring for kids who seem to constantly be ill in the winter, struggling to meet deadlines for work or missing someone during the holidays who is dear to your heart, spending quality time with people who care about you can be a sure source of encouragement. Lots of people feel this way over the colder months so reach out and let somebody know how you feel- they may actually be holding on to the same feelings. If you’re honest with them, you may actually find yourself lifting their spirits and THAT my friend feels really good.
CBD is becoming more popular in the realm of natural treatments for seasonal anxiety and depression. According to a study done in 2018, Cannabidiol can have similar effects to antidepressants by increasing serotonin levels. We have found that the recommended daily serving of two Superseed Life cookies or brownies is enough to take the edge off and keep up our productivity levels. Try it here for 7 days!
Full schedules and daily responsibilities don’t stop as the weather cools down and the days get shorter. Like us, you might be juggling parenthood, work responsibilities and added pressures from the upcoming holidays. There is no shame in struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression, but not all coping mechanisms work the same for everyone. We are passionate about sharing what we have tried because we know what it feels like to be wondering where to start. Always reach out to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns! And head back here this Friday to hear more tips about routine and self-talk from anxiety coach and podcast host, Vicki Yaffe.