Naturally Cure the Winter Blahs

by Head Health Nutter on January 26, 2009

Shorter days and longer nights don’t make the average person very happy. Throw in some tingling temperatures so cold they freeze your bone marrow, and you just might end up with a few very grumpy, depressed individuals.

The Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th edition says,

winter-blues

“Depression is a whole-body illness, one that affects the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behavior. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself. and the way you react to and think about the people and things around you. Symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. There are many types of depression, with variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.”

Here are a list of symptoms:

  • social withdrawal
  • inability to experience pleasure
  • chronic fatigue
  • sleep disturbances (either insomnia or excessive sleeping)
  • changes in appetite
  • headaches
  • backaches
  • digestive disorders
  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • quickness to anger
  • loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies
  • feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy

Whether you’re suffering from Seasonal Affect Disorder or a simple case of the blues, you have the power to either reduce your symptoms or even cure yourself without taking even one pill!

The fabulous news is that many of these natural alternative suggestions are part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Try some of the following simple and inexpensive natural anti-depressing tips, and you might get even more out of it than you originally bargained for.

From The Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th edition:

  1. Eat a diet that includes plenty of raw vegetables and fruits, with soybeans and soy products, whole grains, seeds, nuts, brown rice, millet, and legumes.
  2. If you’re anxious, eat more complex carbohydrates. If you’d like more energy, eat protein meals containing essential fatty acids. Try more omega-3‘s, like eggs, fish and flax, at least twice a week. Salmon, white fish and turkey are especially mood-enhancing.
  3. Omit wheat products as gluten has been linked to depression.
  4. Avoid all products with aspartame which blocks the formation of serotonin, our feel-good neurotransmitters.
  5. Avoid foods high in saturated fats as they interfere with blood flow and lowers circulation in the brain.
  6. Avoid all forms of sugar, including natural sweeteners like honey, molasses and fruit juice. Stevia, a concentrated natural sweetener derived from a South American shrub, does not have the same effect on the body as sugar or the side effects of artificial sweeteners.
  7. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and processed foods.
  8. Get tested for allergies. They may contribute to depression.
  9. Get a hair test to rule out heavy metal toxicity.
  10. Keep your mind active, get plenty of rest and regular exercise.
  11. Avoid stressful situations.
  12. Be more aware of negative thinking and practice stopping those thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Look on the bright side!
  13. Listen to your favourite music – it’s been shown to alleviate depression.
  14. Try any of these 20 ways to get high naturally.

Depression hits all of us at one time or another. Bookmark this post and when it does, pick and choose from this list to come up with your own treatment plan.

Sometimes the imbalance is too great, though. and these easy tips just won’t affect your condition fast enough. If these lifestyle changes fail to decrease the severity of your symptoms, then please seek advice from your physician or a naturopathic doctor. They will take a more aggressive treatment approach.

UPDATE: Since this post was written, the natural health industry has been buzzing on the importance of vitamin D, especially for treating depression. Please read, “How Vitamin D Can Save Your Life“.

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