You are right if you have noticed the bright orb in the sky has been on vacation a bit too much lately. October 2016 went down in history as the rainiest October in our record books and November didn’t look that much better.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD) is estimated to effect 17- 21% of Canadians each year in a mild to moderate way. Higher proportions are prevalent here on the West Coast. Symptoms typically present as fatigue and lack of energy, drive and motivation. Numbness, depression, decreased focus and mental sharpness, irritability, tendency to oversleep and anxiety can also be signs of SAD. Sometimes weight gain and cravings such as sugar or alcohol can be present.
What can we do aside from pick up and move to California for 6 months of the year? Some common at home treatments include:
- Light therapy. The use of white or blue light in a specially designed electric light for 15-30 minutes or more per day has been shown in studies to decrease symptoms of SAD
- Exercise. The hormones released during exercise can elevate mood. Do something that you love to do, at least 3 times per week. If the sun does come out (or not), do it outside.
- Eat right. Replace those sugar cravings with an almond butter banana sandwich or make your own healthy hazelnut spread with wholesome ingredients.
- Sleep well. Make the most out of sleeping with a darkened room, no screens for the hour leading up to bedtime and not overheating in bed. Sleeping nude or with a thin layer on will provide you with a better, more sound sleep
- Vitamin D. Since we can’t convert Vitamin D in the skin to it’s active form which requires sunlight, most people will benefit from daily Vitamin D supplementation from October to April.
In addition to working on lifestyle and diet, additional support may be helpful with Naturopathic Medicine. An IV infusion that is formulated to elevate mood, improve immune function and provide energy can be administered in the clinic. The formulation can be altered to meet your specific health needs. Additional supplementation geared towards mood, energy and enhanced sleep is also important and discussed. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to help with all forms of health and can benefit SAD. Please contact us for more information and to book an appointment.