Five Natural Ways to Treat Seasonal Depression
The days are short, the cold keeps you indoors, and everyday tasks seem a bit harder than usual. It’s common to feel this way during the winter months. Research shows that over 10 million Americans struggle with seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Seasonal depression often goes untreated for many reasons. One, you might tell yourself that “it’s only temporary.” Two, you might not want to start taking prescription medications, which come with unpleasant side effects. Three, you might not feel motivated to take action because of the depression.
However, you deserve to live your best life even during winter months. Managing seasonal depression might seem daunting at first, but there is hope! You’ve come to the right place for simple, natural ways to treat seasonal depression.
What is seasonal depression?
Seasonal depression involves feelings of sadness, lethargy, and purposelessness caused by the changing of the seasons. Many people will point to the shorter days as the main contributor to seasonal depression. The body needs sunlight in order to produce nutrients and maintain energy levels. However, lack of sunlight isn’t the only factor at play.
Winter can strain your emotional and mental health for the following reasons:
- The body cannot absorb enough sunlight to maintain proper energy levels.
- Cold, dark days make it difficult to participate in outdoor activities.
- More time indoors leads to more screen time, which can negatively affect mental health.
- Colds and the flu can place added strain on your body.
- Holidays can cause loneliness and bring up difficult memories related to trauma.
What is a natural approach to seasonal depression treatment?
Many doctors and psychiatrists will prescribe antidepressants and mood-altering drugs to treat seasonal depression. While these medications can be effective, they often leave patients struggling with severe side effects. It can also be challenging to get off these medications once Spring and Summer come around. At Five Journeys, we do not believe in prescribing pharmaceuticals without first trying natural treatments. A few natural lifestyle changes and interventions are usually all it takes to get you feeling happier and more energetic.
Here are five natural approaches to treating seasonal depression.
1. Natural Light Therapy
Your body creates Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, without sunlight, your body won’t be able to get the resources it needs. You’ll be left feeling sluggish and depressed. But did you know you can buy special lamps that simulate sunlight? Your body won’t know the difference, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.
Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. During winter, exercise levels often decrease due to cold temperatures and snowy weather. It’s just harder to get to the gym and sometimes impossible to go for a morning jog.
If you’re experiencing seasonal depression, one treatment idea is to increase your time spent exercising. You’ll feel stronger, more energized, and more confident! Work with a functional medicine doctor at Five Journeys to develop a personalized exercise routine.
3. IV Therapy
You might not have heard about IV therapy before, but it might just be the fastest way to overcome seasonal depression. Five Journeys offers a number of natural treatments that can reverse the effects of winter blues. For example, our Energy Booster infusion is packed with B Vitamins, helps boost energy levels, and decreases fatigue.
IV therapy is effective because it delivers much-needed supplements straight into your bloodstream. This safe, cost-effective service is much more efficient than a pill or topical ointment.
4. Talk Therapy
Five Journeys believes healing is rooted in a holistic view of the person. Seasonal depression isn’t just a physical condition; it’s mental and emotional too. That’s why talk therapy should be part of a natural seasonal depression treatment plan.
While you may benefit from visiting your own talk therapist specialist, the physicians at Five Journeys will prioritize your emotional well-being while we treat your physical ailments. We care about who you are and how you connect with yourself, the world, and the people around you.
5. Proper Diet
Your gut affects your entire body. Diet is about much more than gaining or losing weight. The food you eat will affect your immune system and mental health since all of these systems are closely connected.
For example, you may eat more gluten-based foods when you’re feeling depressed. If you have a gluten allergy, your body will begin to suffer from inflammation as it tries to reject the toxins. This inflammation and discomfort will more than likely affect your mental health and you’ll feel burdened with brain fog and mood swings.
Consult with a nutritionist and discover how a new diet can be a natural treatment for seasonal depression.
Let’s work together to manage your seasonal depression.
At Five Journeys, we seek to treat the root cause of your health issues. We won’t prescribe a pharmaceutical as a quick fix to your seasonal depression. Instead, we will take the time to listen to your needs and experiences. This way, you receive a custom treatment plan that works for your body.
Through natural light therapy, exercise, IV therapy, talk therapy, diet, and other interventions, you can find freedom from winter sadness and fatigue.