It’s here! The darkest day of the year! Most people aren’t celebrating it. But let’s! Because it only gets brighter each day from here on out, right? And we’re that much closer to glorious spring.
Unfotunately, today also marks a time of year when many people struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
It affects millions of people a year. And if you happen to be female, like me, you are more likely to be affected. Although, there are plenty of guys who struggle with it as well.
I’ll never forget experiencing SAD the first winter I lived in Boston six years ago. It hit me like a ton of bricks. We had a toddler and baby at the time. I remember feeling like I could hardly get off the couch, much less accomplish the long list of things I needed to each day.
Brance and I decided to research what I could do naturally to help first. If how I felt didn’t improve in a reasonable amount of time, I planned to visit my doctor.
Thankfully, once I began to make changes, things almost immediately improved for me!!
Here are four simple things I did (and continue to do) to keep SAD away.
1. Supplement with Vitamin D3 (3,000- 4,000 IU daily).
I do this in the summer as well, usually taking a little less because I’m getting some D3 naturally through sun exposure. (Although, word to the wise, sunscreen will block your ability to absorb D3)
2. Spend 20-30 minutes outside every day.
I even did this during the coldest months while living in Boston!! I’d bundle up in a down coat and many days wear snow boots too, ha. It’s so important to be exposed to natural light and especially in the morning, if possible.
3. Exercise for 15-30 minutes a day.
I have been so, so good to do this for the last six years… until 2 months ago. Ugh. We moved and I have been balancing a lot. I want to get back to this, though. Because it really does help!
4. Supplement with Magnesium (200-400 mg) or soak in Epsom salts (to naturally absorb Magnesium).
I swear by this. I have struggled with anxiety for years. And when I finally added this to my regimen (Vitamin D3 supplementation helps a lot as well), the anxiety completely disappeared. In my book, anxiety and depression are evil twins of the same mother. They often accompany one another.
I hope these 4 things help you enjoy this darker time of year more!
SAD can become a serious condition. If it has for you, I would recommend seeking medical help.