Beat Seasonal Depression to the Punch!

It seems like just yesterday I was boogie boarding and swimming in the ocean after my work days, now it is getting dark and cold! The days are getting shorter and the temps are dropping. How do we keep our moods up through the fall and winter in New England?

  • Stay active every day. This can be running after your kids, having your kids run after you, walk with a friend, put on a favorite aerobic workout, do yoga in the living room or at a studio, run the stairs, wake up and do 15 min of exercise. The point is to move your body, 30 min a day for adults and two hours a day for children, yes every day.
  • Get outside. Wear the right clothes and all weather can be lovely. Enjoy the change of seasons by walking, hiking, ice skating, sitting outside by a fire with friends, visiting a park or playground, go to the beach, go sledding, learn how to skate ski, go downhill skiing, or have tea outside in the sunshine.  
  • Get adequate sleep. Go to bed earlier this winter and wake with the sun, it is lovely! For those of you who struggle with sleep, use Melatonin for a week after the time change 1-3mg is usually all you will need to reset your own clock. 
  • Eat healthy comfort foods. Roast your veggies instead of munching on them raw, make soup, make healthy meals for yourself every day and then have warm leftovers the next day. Find a new recipe every week to try out.  Spend time making yourself and family a nice breakfast every day: I like overnight oats with walnuts, ground flax, blueberries and almond milk, or eggs, avocado and salsa on a slice of gluten free toast.  
  • Are you taking vitamin D? IF you have not had your levels checked or if you tend to run low, make sure you check levels and are taking enough every day, this will help your mood! Most adults need 5,000IU daily, most kids are deficient so depending on age and weight, remember their vitamin D too. 
  • Sunshine and light is important so improve the lighting in your home and let the sunshine in whenever possible. Purchase a daylight-sunlight lamp if you feel you need it, these can be used for 20-30 minutes daily. 
  • B vitamins are essential for happy moods. I like a basic methylated B Complex or a stress B complex for us adults and a great quality methylated children’s multi for our kids throughout the darker times of the year. 
  • Friends and Family time is important to prevent depression. Keep it positive and plan activities that will help bring you closer, laughing together is even better. I like game night! Start a book club with like minded friends or family- this can be virtual or in person.

Ask for support. There are many natural treatments for seasonal depression and anxiety, we are happy to help you create a plan for your unique needs.

-Dr Quinn