Winter is in full swing! Although winter can be a beautiful time of year, it can also bring about depression and general sadness in many people. Autumn, our fabulous social media and marketing wiz, has gathered some fantastic tips on how to beat the winter blues and feel like yourself again...
1. Eat The Rainbow:
Studies show that loading up on raw fruits and vegetables such as bananas, berries, apples, citrus, kiwifruit, carrots, dark leafy greens, cucumbers, and more can slash the odds of getting depression by 62 percent! Plant foods also contain phytonutrients that stop chemical imbalances in your brain! A chemical imbalance is what usually causes depression. Plant foods also contain antioxidants that destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals may be linked to developing depression and other issues. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, and has been shown to improve mood. Getting adequate amounts of vitamins such as B-12 are important for mental health as well. Make sure to eat foods rich in B-12 such as duckweed or foods that have been fortified. You could also consider taking a supplement.
2. Herbs & Supplements:
Herbs such as Saint John's Wort, saffron, lemon balm, green tea, lavender, and chamomile can help treat the blues. Saint John's Wort is one of the most popular used herbs for medicine in the world. It has been used for treating depression for a very long time. It uplifts your mood by increasing levels of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. Since the 1970s, research has shown that St. John's Wort is an effective treatment for depression. Saffron works equally as well as Prozac for treating depression according to a scientific trial. The downside is that saffron is quite expensive. One solution may be to just smell the herb. A study found that just smelling the herb for 20 minutes reduced stress hormones. Lemon balm uplifts your mood and relaxes your body. It can improve sleep and appetite as well, which are common side effects of depression. Green tea contains many antioxidants, but one in particular stands out for mental health. That antioxidant is called L-theanine, and it can increase the production of Gamma-aminobutyric acid which releases feel good hormones. Lavender and chamomile help to relax the body, help to reduce anxiety, and help to improve sleep. These herbs are safe and don't produce the side effects that you get when you take anti-depressant medication.
3. Exercise, Yoga, Meditation, & Acupuncture:
Exercise can make your mood change in an instant! You don't have to go to the gym for hours. Just a simple walk for a short amount of time helps. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that put you in a good mood. According to a study, exercising under bright lighting can improve mental health even more. Yoga and meditation help to reduce stress responses and help with depression. They lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and relax the mind. Studies have been done showing that acupuncture can reduce pain and may help with anxiety and depression. Endorphins are released when needles are inserted. The release of endorphins make your body and mind feel relaxed and happy. Those feelings can even go on after your session is finished.
4. Sunshine & Light Therapy:
Sun exposure can help with depression by providing vitamin-D. It is sometimes hard to get in the cold dark winters. Try to get outside when there is sun or try sun bathing inside if it's too cold to go outside. If you just can't seem to get enough and you are feeling down you could consider taking a vitamin-D supplement or try eating more fortified foods. Mushrooms are actually a natural source of vitamin-D. Like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin-D when exposed to sunlight or a sunlamp. How cool! There are also other things like light therapy and dawn simulators. Light therapy is when you are exposed to bright artificial light that mimics natural light. Dawn simulators are light alarm clocks that gradually get brighter over a 30-60 minute period in the morning and help to make it easier to get out of bed. They can also have a positive effect on mood.
5. Essential Oils:
There are many essential oils that are known to calm, relax, and uplift. Lavender, ylang ylang, chamomile, vetiver, frankincense, grapefruit, sweet orange, lemon, and bergamot are some of the most popular mood boosting oils around. Try diffusing around the house or in the car. You can also use a personal inhaler, add them to baths or showers, or mix them into lotion.
6. Go On Vacation:
If you just can't seem to take the dark dreary winter, try heading somewhere warm and sunny! This will definitely get rid of your blues!
We carry many different types of aromatherapy items to help improve mood. All of our products are scented using essential oils so you get the benefit of aromatherapy in every product. Feel free to custom order specific scents to get the benefits you are looking for! Browse all aromatherapy products here: https://www.byrobincreations.com/collections/aromatherapy-cold-relief.
How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH