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3 Ways to Keep ‘SAD’ at Bay This Winter

The dark days of winter can bring on dark moods. It’s not just that we miss the pleasant temperatures and long sunny days; our bodies also miss the sunshine.

Winter days, with fewer hours of sunlight, bring on a change in mood for many people, a condition that goes by the apt acronym of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Happily, there are ways to compensate for this.

How to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder Naturally

Bring on the Vitamin D3

When sunlight hits our skin, it triggers the creation of vitamin D3. (Technically, vitamin D3 is a hormone, not a vitamin.) In recent years the research on D3 has exploded and it has been found to be related to virtually every function of the body, including the brain. Too little D3 can result in sadness or even depression.

Vitamin D3 supplements are readily available and inexpensive (but if you’re on blood thinning medicine, don’t use these supplements without first checking with your doctor).

People who live in northern latitudes or spend little time outdoors, or have dark skin, or who use sun block are likely to not get enough of the vitamin. Women who live in the Middle East, with ample sunlight, will not benefit from it if they cover their skin.

More Magnesium

In addition to vitamin D3, consider adding some magnesium to your lifestyle since it also has impressive benefits. Carolyn Dean, MD writes: “Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression…” She continues, “Serotonin, the ‘feel good’ brain chemical that is boosted by Prozac, depends on magnesium for its production and function.”

Your body will absorb magnesium when you enjoy a warm bath with a bout a cup of Epsom salt added to it. A delicious way to get more magnesium is with some of the rich food sources such as: bananas, avocados, fish, nuts & seeds, dark chocolate, beans, dark leafy greens, brown rice, dried figs, whole wheat, oatmeal, and quinoa.

My, my Omega

Another nutrition hero is omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). In 1999 Harvard University’s Professor of Psychiatry, Andrew Stoll, found that giving fish oil supplements (high in EFAs) brought profound improvement in patients suffering from depression. Newer research confirms that Americans consume far lower amounts of the healthy oils than our ancestors did, and we are experiencing many problems as a result.

While individual supplements have been shown to be beneficial for helping people who suffer from depression and related problems such as phobias and irrational fears, there is a blend that has also been extremely successful. EMPowerplus is an easy-to-take powder that can be added to smoothies. It is composed of 36 minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants that have been found to help many behavior, learning, and health problems. Information on the research supporting it is available from www.truehope.com.

Shared with: Oh My Heartsie Girl!, Faith Along the Way, The Art of Homemaking, The Modest Mom Blog, Cornerstone Confessions, Back to the Basics, A Little R & R, Happy and Blessed Home, and So Much at Home
Faith Along the Way



Jane Hersey

Jane Hersey

Jane Hersey is the National Director of the Feingold Association of the United States and the author of Why Can’t My Child Behave? A former teacher and Head Start consultant, she has testified before the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Congress about diet and behavior. She frequently lectures at education associations, hospitals, medical groups, universities, and schools.
Jane Hersey

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7 Responses to 3 Ways to Keep ‘SAD’ at Bay This Winter

  1. Jane Hersey January 10, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    Thank you, everyone, for such kind words; I am delighted to know that the information may prove to be useful!
    It’s a huge topic and there is much more information that might be helpful. For example, a simple way to make your winter days “sunnier” is to use lamps with full-spectrum bulbs which provide much of the same benefits as real sunlight. Some hardware stores sell them and I have seen them at fabric stores. The are made as both table lamps and floor lamps.
    An economical option is to buy “grow lights” — light bulbs that can be found at stores selling gardening supplies. Just replace the bulb in a lamp or light fixture that will direct the light on your skin. Several friends have found that this was a huge help in healing their dry, rough winter hands and one reported that it helped with psoriasis.
    Schools that use “daylighting” — skylights or similar ways to bring sunshine into the classroom — report the children are calmer and better able to focus. In contrast, traditional fluorescent lights seem to have the opposite effect.
    Another promsing approach is using the trace mineral chromium picolinate. Dr. Malcolm McLeod, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found it was an effective antidepressant that did not have the unwanted side effects found in some medicines. He is the author of “Lifting Depression, the Chromium Connection.”

  2. Candace January 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    These 3 supplements are great! I struggle with depression and anxiety all year long. Unfortunately, even with my yearly Vitamin D low test results, I always forget to take mine. Thanks for the reminder :)!

  3. Sarah Ann January 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Fabulous ideas! I wonder if I suffer from this and so appreciate you sharing these tips at the Sat. Soiree & Social Media Share. You’ll be featured this week!

  4. Brandi Clevinger January 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    I am so glad to see this article. I also battle with it, and each year gets better than the last because of the more natural approaches i take in easing the symptoms.

    In addition to the Vitamin D and magnesium, I also take Vitamin C and drink 2 ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and again an hour before bed. I have been doing this regiment for three months and I have been amazed at it’s affects!

    Thanks again for sharing, ladies!

    • Brandi Clevinger January 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

      I forgot to add that I am sharing this on my Fibromyalgia Information group board on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/beingfibromom) . If you or anyone you know would like to add to this board or my Chronic Illness group board, please contact me at beingtheimperfectmom{at}gmail.com

      Thank you again!

  5. JES January 6, 2015 at 5:12 am #

    Hello Jane. This is great information (especially for the stay at home mother!). Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  6. Karren Haller January 3, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Hi Jane, oooo I know to well the symptoms of SAD, my oldest son battled with it along with manic depression and bi-polar, we tried everything to help him, I do wish we had known more about it.

    Im glad that you have shared this information I hope it will help others!

    Thanks you for sharing on Oh My Heartsie Girl Friday Feature this week.
    Enjoy your day and have a Happy New Year!!!

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