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Help for Seasonal Depression

Winter can seem long — especially when you live north of the 49th parallel.  And, come January, it can sometimes feel like you are in it for the long haul.  Especially if you suffer from seasonal depression.   

To help combat the winter slump, here are a few things that can help:

  1. Stay Active.  YES… I know its cold out.  BUT getting the blood pumping (either outdoor or in) can help to release stress through the release of endorphins and may reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate depression as effectively as an anti-depressant.
  2. Be social.  You may feel like hibernating, but getting out with a group of friends is key to keeping your mood lighter.  It gives you something to look forward to and usually involves a laugh or two.
  3. Keep eating raw vegetables and fruit — proper digestion and intake of certain vitamins and minerals depends on it.  If you are keeping warm with a big old bowl or soup or stew, add in a salad as well.
  4. Fill up that water bottle.  You should be drinking 1.5-2 litres of water everyday.
  5. Take Vitamin D.  With less time spent outside in the sun, your Vit D synthesis and stores will go down.  It is vital for keeping your immune system healthy and lowering your risk of depression. How much to take depends upon how depleted your system is.  (Healthworks will now be offering an at-home Vitamin D Test Kit so you can have a more accurate look at what your levels are.)
  6. Avoid sugary snacks, which will lead to that inevitable crash in your blood sugar.  Eat whole foods, such as apples (which include the finer needed to slow that sugar uptake into the system) or home made granola bars, which can keep down the amount of additives that processed foods include.
  7. Find a hobby that makes you feel alive.  Do the things that fuel your drive and passion. Life is meant to be fun!