10 Tips to Fight SAD (seasonal affective)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), aka the ‘Winter Blues’, is a temporary type of winter depression where you feel depressed in the Fall and Winter months when daylight hours are limited, but feel better in the Spring and Summer. 

SAD affects approximately three million people in the US, with women being 4 times as likely as men to experience symptoms. It primarily affects those living in northern states and Alaska, and is rare in southern states like Florida. 

Symptoms & Causes

As the daylight hours get shorter, you may experience any or all of the following common symptoms:

  • Feeling depressed, hopeless or sad throughout the day
  • Low energy levels and lack of motivation
  • Loss of joy or enjoyment in normal activities
  • Disrupted sleep pattern; can’t get out of bed
  • Loss of or changes in appetite and weight

According to the NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, SAD is linked to lower levels of Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm, happy, emotionally stable and focused.  

Also, low levels of Vitamin D are linked to low levels of Serotonin. 

10 Practical Tips for Managing SAD:

Here are our top suggestions to help boost your Serotonin levels from a more natural and holistic approach, in no particular order. Please keep in mind that your body is unique, and you may need to experiment a bit to see what brings you the best response and relief. 

  1. Get your Vitamin D levels up:

    • Get outside in the sunshine for 15-20 minutes every day if possible. Take a walk.
    • Take a vacation to a sunny place if possible.
    • Supplement with Vitamin D, specifically D3 (cholecalciferol), which is found in LLV and the Bone Nutrient, which also includes calcium, magnesium and D2. 
    • Eat foods rich in Vitamin D: Salmon, tuna, eggs, mushrooms, raw dairy cheese, etc.
    • Get a light lamp with at least 1 sq foot of surface, and use 30 minutes to 2 hours per day.   
2.   Eat foods that stimulate Serotonin and Dopamine, as they work closely together:

    • Chocolate
    • Avocados, bananas, nuts, sunflower seeds 
    • Chicken & eggs
    • Turkey
    • Raw cheese, yogurt
    • Beans & carbs (but not too much) 
3.  Get your gut healthy! Approximately 95% of your Serotonin is in your intestinal tract. Eat whole, organic, real food whenever possible, the more plants the better. Reduce processed fake foods as much as possible. We also recommend using TerraZyme digestive enzymes at every meal, and PB Assist pre and probiotics for digestive support. 

4.  Use Adaptiv System capsules and essential oil blend. The capsules contain GABA and herbs that help support proper Serotonin and Dopamine levels, and they act like an SSRI. We use these every day, and highly recommend them to help regulate moods and sanity. 
5. Incorporate meditation, prayer and/or a mindfulness practice to relieve depressed feelings.

6. Learn EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as tapping. Here’s a link to a short video by Nick Ortner, who is a well renowned EFT instructor. 

7. Consider psychotherapy, talk to a therapist or other professional. 

8. Monitor your self-talk and change it if needed. Your body and mind are ALWAYS LISTENING to your words and thoughts, and it will make happen what you’re focusing on. We love the book What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. 

9. Listen to uplifting music, specifically healing frequencies of 432Hz and 528Hz. You can find examples on YouTube.

10.  Aromatherapy with dōTERRA pure essential oils helps raise Serotonin and Dopamine levels, especially these:

  • Lemon (reduces anxious and depressed feelings
  • Bergamot (also reduces Cortisol)
  • Kumquat and Litsea are specific for SAD
  • Wild Orange
  • Frankincense
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage

Citrus oils are very uplifting and beneficial for those dealing with SAD, plus they are powerful in boosting your immune system too. 

  • Not So SAD Blend: 3 drops of Grapefruit, 2 drops of Bergamot in the palms of your hands, rub hands together, apply on pulse points, on the back of your neck, rub into hairline, inhale slowly from cupped hands.
  • dōTERRA Proprietary Blends: Cheer, Elevation, Balance, Citrus Bliss, Motivate, Passion and others; apply topically (diluted with carrier oil) or diffuse as needed. 

Take Action to Feel Better!

So now it's up to you... it's time to take action so you can feel better. These tips have helped so many, including us, get through the Fall and Winter months. Try them out and see what works best for you. Don't give in to despair! You have the power to feel better all year long. 

Want to learn more about natural wellness? Join us for a class or request a request a free 30 minute consultation.


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