When the weather is grey and cool, some people feel tired, depressed or stressed. There’s a name for it: SAD (seasonal affective disorder). The symptoms are the same as those of classic depression, but they occur during a very specific period of the year, typically from October to March. When spring comes, SAD symptoms go, all by themselves.
The main cause of SAD is the lack of light during the short days of fall and winter. So, even during colder temperature, take advantage of the sun as much as possible to help keep your spirits up.
Natural health products can also help reduce the symptoms of depression. Here are some that have been proven effective:
Adrien Gagnon St. John’s Wort:
Preliminary studies have shown that St. John’s wort could have effects similar to light therapy on anxiety, loss of libido and insomnia in SAD sufferers, making it potentially an economical and effective alternative. One study found even greater benefits in combining it with light therapy. There is a caution, however, in that St. John’s wort has many drug interactions, making it important to get a healthcare practitioner’s advice before using it.
Adrien Gagnon Omega-3 Extra-Strength:
We now know more about the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on the brain. Many studies have found that fish oil supplements have a positive effect on depression—particularly EPA, which seems to be the most important omega-3 fatty acid when it comes to reducing depression symptoms. A recent study made Adrien Gagnon Omega-3 Extra-Strength can provide the benefits of Omega-3 in an EPA concentrated formula, to help brain function and thus promote a sunny frame of mind.
Adrien Gagnon Vitamin D 1000 IU:
The sun is our best source of vitamin D, so it’s no surprise that winter brings the possibility of deficiency. Daylight aside, studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation improves psychological wellbeing. The dosage most recommended by researchers during winter months range from 1,000 IU to 2,000 IU per day. A. G. Adrien Gagnon offers a 1000 UI vitamin D tablet, which corresponds perfectly to these recommendations.
Adrien Gagnon B Complex 100:
This product combines all the B vitamins, including folic acid, but at a higher dosage than what is generally found in the diet. Many situations can lead to an increased need for B vitamins. Stress is just one example. Certain drugs (oral contraceptives, some anti-acids and diuretics, etc.) can also decrease B vitamin levels in the body. In the case of depression, where the diet can be insufficient, a supplement will provide a higher dosage, delivering a therapeutic effect. Adrien Gagnon offers the B Complex in 100 mg dosage with a prolonged release feature, to provide a regular dose throughout the day.
Even if seasonal affective disorder isn’t a problem year-round, nothing justifies that someone should suffer from it. Many choices are at hand for those who do. It’s a matter of identifying the techniques that can help the most. If you suffer from SAD, do not hesitate to consult all the healthcare practitioners available to you: medical doctors, pharmacists, massotherapists, naturopaths, etc. It’s proven that the best way to defeat seasonal affective disorder is to use all the resources and approaches available.
How to manage SAD naturally
- Sunlight: Take every opportunity to go outside and get some sun, even if the temperature seems uninviting. Sunlight aside, a dose of fresh air will help improve your mood.
- Diet: Some nutrients found in food can help improve mood. Here are a few of the most important:
- Omega-3 from marine sources (found in fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon).
- Tryptophan (an amino acid found in salmon, turkey, chicken, almonds, peanuts, eggs, brown rice and soy).
- Folic acid and other B vitamins (found in whole cereals, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and legumes).
Of course, certain foods should be avoided as much as possible, such as:
- Refined foods
- Trans and saturated fats
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can stimulate the nervous system and produce endorphins, which provide a feeling of wellbeing. Aim for three to seven sessions of 30 minutes per week.
- Other beneficial therapies: On top of your medical doctor’s or pharmacist’s advice, your massotherapist and your psychotherapist can add to your tools against SAD.