We’re in the dead of winter, and I don’t know about you, but I could use some sunshine right about now!
Seasonal Affective Disorder – aka SAD is very real, and can be potentially life-threatening.
You can read more about the symptoms and it’s effects on your mental and physical health on this trusted non-profit organization’s site.
In the meantime, here are some basic tips to follow if you feel like the cold weather and the lack of sunshine is getting you down:
- Go out with friends, yes, even if you don’t want to, force yourself. Being around people that can cheer you up makes a world of difference.
- Make sure you are getting a minimum of 2000 IU of Vitamin D. Better yet, get a blood test done to check your levels – most of us are really deficient which can contribute to depression.
- Avoid alcohol – it can make depression a lot worse. Remember, alcohol is a downer, not an upper.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Studies have shown that the effects of exercise are more effective than medication in treating depression.
- Get outside during daylight hours, weather permitting. Just a little bit of fresh air can change your perspective.
- If your budget permits, purchase a light box, you can read more about them here.
- Finally add more greens to your diet via smoothies or juices. Greens are loaded with chlorophyl – made from the sun. I’ve talked about the many benefits of chlorophyl in my detoxes, but just know that greens make your cells happy and balance your hormones which in turn can help alleviate the severity of depression.
If none of the above work and you feel like your symptoms are getting worse, please run to see a doctor. Yes, don’t walk, RUN. Depression is real, painful, and life threatening. Do not take it lightly.
And now on a lighter note, I want to share a drink that makes me smile and feel sunshiny from the inside out. It’s super easy and will bring a smile to your face as well. Plus its loaded with Vitamin C, D, E, omega fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. All of which are natural ways of combating SAD.
(makes 2 cups)
Adapted from Gluten Free
1/2 cup raw almond milk
1 cup organic yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt
1 Tbs organic vanilla extract
4 clementine oranges, peeled
1/4 of a Meyer lemon, peeled (reserve zest for garnish)
1 Tbs hemp seeds, plus more for garnish
4 ice cubes (optional)
Add all ingredients (except for zest in a blender and blend until smooth. Top the lassi with the lemon zest and more hemp seeds. Drink immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!