Whether you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or you’re just fed up with the hot bowl of suck that has been this winter, here are some great natural cures for the winter blues. If you’ve lost your usual va-va-voom, we are here to put the pep back in your step with these natural cures for depression and anxiety.
The forest is the pharmacy of the world. Not only do we get our medicines from the plants that grow there, but studies show it also reduces stress an anxiety and elevates mood. So get out in nature as often as possible, hug trees and smell the flowers.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement
One of the most common causes of the winter blahs is a lack of natural sunlight which results in a vitamin D deficiency. Take a Vitamin D supplement every day to help restore your natural balance.
Let there be Light
Get as much natural light as you can. Open your curtains and go for a walk when the sun is shining. Get a light box which simulates natural light and spend at least 30 minutes every day getting a little more light in your life. This should help to restore your circadian rhythms and reset your internal clock.
Shake a Leg
Walk, run, ski, do yoga, go to the gym or just roam around your neighbourhood. Any activity that gets you moving will help to release those ‘feel good hormones’ that can help improve your mood. Don’t set unreachable exercise goals, just do a little every day and it will add up to a big change.
Flower and herb essences can help to relax you and elevate your mood. Try lavender, frankincense, bergamot, ylang ylang and chamomile are just some of the best cures for winter blues.
Eat yourself Happy
Fresh fruit and vegetables are going to give you all the nutrition you need to fuel your fun. Stay away from processed foods and sugar, except for dark chocolate which you should enjoy in moderation. Chocolate contains flavanoids and simulates the production of endorphins which help to elevate mood. Red wine also contains flavanoids and has the same effect on your happiness, but only when consumed in moderation.
Carbohydrates and fish help to feed your brain the fuel it needs to produce those important ‘feel good’ hormones. Want more good news? Of course you do! Don’t skip meals. Keeping your blood sugar regulated will help to stabilize your mood.
St John’s Wort
This herb helps to boost your mood and can curb feelings of depression. Take 300mg/day for a week. It takes about a week for the effects to be felt so don’t expect immediate changes.
Make Happy Hippie Juice
This is a great recipe from Frugally Sustainable for a happiness elixir which you can drink every day.
- 2 parts hawthorn berries
- 1 part St. John’s Wort flower and leaf
- 1 part lemon balm leaf
- 1 part violet leaf
- 1 part eleuthero root
- organic vegetable glycerin,
- pure water
- just a touch of brandy, optional
Fill 1/3 of a glass jar with the dried herbs and berries. Boil some water and pour in just enough to moisten the herbs. Cover the herbs with the organic vegetable glycerin. If you are adding brandy to help preserve your concoction, do so now (about 5-10% of the volume).
Leave in a warm place and shake once a day. After 2-4 weeks, strain through a cheesecloth, squeezing to get as much out of your tincture as you can. Store in a dark amber bottle with a dropper. Take 2 drops 3 times a day as needed. Lasts for 2 years.