7 Steps to Help Seasonal Affective Disorder
Fall is the time of years when people’s energy takes a hit. After having had the sun’s natural source energy, many people report feeling more tired, down and lethargic. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a big problem here in Vancouver where it’s uncommon to have long stretches of rain and no sunlight. This year we’ve managed to stave off SAD due to a prolonged summer. Unfortunately, our great weather has been replaced with colder, wetter and shorter daylight hours.
The sun is pure yang energy – it’s light and warmth means we don’t have to generate energy to stay warm. We need Yang energy – it’s our get up and go! It’s why beach holidays are soo popular. Unfortunately, we can’t just hop on a plane when we’re feeling tire and run down – well most of us can’t. The challenge becomes how do we generate energy to avoid falling into a pit of despair this time of year with the colder days and diminished light?
- Keep your energy moving – the best, most natural way to improve your mood is to move – walking, biking, running or hiking outdoors in the woods or by a body of water is going to naturally reset your mood. It’s recommended 45 minutes provides the optimum relief. You don’t even need to break a sweat for it to be effective.
- If you want to regulate your mood take a yoga class – the long exhales and guided movement regulates your autonomic nervous system which relieves anxiety. Qi Gong, Tai Chi will work nicely too.
- Check you iron level. People who are anemic they will naturally feel more tired, have trouble falling and staying asleep and feel more anxious and suffer from cold hands and feet.
- Eat warmer foods!!!! You are what you eat! If you’re diet consists of cold raw foods like smoothies, salads and sushi then you are not building yang energy rather you’re depleting it. Build your yang energy naturally by eating warm, cooked foods. Soups, stews, oatmeal and warm beverages should become the mainstay of your diet this time of year and heading into winter.
- FUN!! Yes, fun. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, loved and supported. There is nothing worse than being with people who make you feel anxious, angry or upset – they rob you of your energy. If you want to boost your mood than choose carefully who and how you spend your time. Spending the whole day indoors binge watching Netflix series is not going to get you there.
- Take care of yourself. Schedule a massage or mani-pedi, something that says “I Love You”
- If you do feel yourself going off the rails or if you want to avoid going off the rails then make acupuncture a regular part of your health care program. Acupuncture regulates your body’s yang and yin energies. If you’re especially deficient in yang energy there are Chinese formulas you can take to help boost it.