Category: Mental Health

How to Beat Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder Naturally?

Abstract

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can occur if one is having a family history of depression, bipolar disorder or any psychological disorder. Common treatments to this may include anti-depressants, counseling and allopathy medications but improving lifestyle, diet, and mode of living can manage this syndrome effectively and naturally.

Introduction

Welcome to the season when days have started getting shorter, less sunlight, 5 p.m. sunsets and plenty of snow all around. Some days can be worse if one is experiencing random mood swings, feeling more lethargic and low almost every day. What might be the reason?

Is it the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or Winter Blues?

Some people start feeling dump after the winter vacations, ending the festive season and Slump after the fun. Finding it difficult to get up out of the bed, irritated, sad and low energy levels are not uncommon. These are the manageable ebb and flow that come along with the every changing season and can be considered as winter blues. There is no clinical diagnosis for this condition but is fairly common globally. While a small percentage of people experience a severe medical disorder which is known as Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD) is a depressive disorder with recurrent seasonal patterns which usually begins in fall and continues till winter ends. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), this starts in a specific season each year and ends in another. This disorder occurs more often in women than in men at an estimated age between 18-30 years. People living away from the equator are more susceptible to this disease.

Recognize the Signs and Don’t Ignore Your Symptoms

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms Include the Following

  • Excess sleeping
  • Overeating
  • The person feels down or depressed the whole day or nearly every day
  • Loss in interest in some activities which you enjoyed once
  • Preferring isolation and withdrawing from social gatherings
  • Constant feeling of fatigued and lethargic
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling of hopelessness and demotivated
  • Finds difficult to take initiative
  • Difficulty in focusing on work
  • Frequently crying
  • Lowered energy levels
  • Crave carbohydrates and sugars
  • Sudden weight gain

Symptoms Which Can Occur During Summer Are Given as Follows

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • anxiety
  • violent behavior
  • sudden weight loss
  • poor appetite

Causes

Some of the Major Factors that Trigger The Onset of The Disorder Are Discussed as Follows

The major and foremost reason which can be considered as the primary culprit for a seasonal affective disorder is the decreased exposure to sunlight which leads to an imbalance in serotonin and melatonin levels.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that modulates all human behavior and is produced by CNS neurons. This hormone regulates the brain functions, helps to regulate mood, biological clock and body’s sleep-wake cycles. Lowered serotonin levels can be due to improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, etc. and ultimately leads to the onset of depression. (3)

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin hormone which is secreted by the pineal gland is a derivative of tryptophan (Amino acid) found in mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. In humans, it regulates circadian rhythm (24-hour cycles) and its secretion is enhanced by darkness while inhibited by light. (2)

Less sunlight causes a deficiency of Vitamin D which hinders the secretion of Serotonin and melatonin which ultimately causes depressive symptoms. But don’t let these winter blues hinder your daily enjoyment here are some of the home remedies which can put this winter illness off.

Home Remedies – Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Sunlight

To get a sufficient amount of Vitamin-D, you need to step outside whenever the sun is out. Exposing yourself to natural light and sun will trigger the serotonin production which will naturally lighten up your mood. So this winter takes a break with your kids, family or friends and tries indulging yourself in skiing, ice-skating or picnic, etc.

2. Exercise

Exercise tends to have a link with mental health so making exercise an essential part of our routine contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Daily exercise is beneficial in managing depression and anxiety effectively which acts as a natural antidepressant. It also increases endorphins which are secreted by the hypothalamus and lower levels may trigger anxiety and stress. Levels of serotonin and endorphins can affect mood which can be boosted by daily exercise.

3. Change your Diet

Some of the dietary supplements and altering diet can improve the condition and some of the supplements are discussed as follows-

1.Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Food items like walnut, salmon, tuna, shrimp, catfish, spinach, flaxseed oil, etc. should be added in the diet.

2.Berries

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. can help to prevent the secretion of cortisol which is a stress hormone.

3.Folic Acid

Food items that have high amounts of folic acid are Oatmeal, green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans, and black-eyed peas can be included in daily diet.

4.Vitamin B-12 and D

Food sources like oysters, crab, eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, cereals, etc. are rich in Vitamin B-12 while mushrooms, fish, etc. are rich in Vitamin D should be included in the daily diet for reducing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

5.Banana

It possesses tryptophan, natural sugars, magnesium and potassium which improves sleep and reduces anxiety which naturally symptoms of depression and enhances a good mood.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Ayurvedic Medicine forSeasonal Affective Disorder

Ayurvedic Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

1.Stress Support Capsule

Stress support from Planet Ayurveda has been formulated from enormous traditional herbs like Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) and Tagar (Valeriana wallichii). This product effectively manages various conditions like nausea, dizziness, tremors, sleeping disorders, and anxiety.

Dosage – 1-2 capsules daily with plain water after meals

2. Brahmi Chyawanprash

This is an herbal dietary supplement that contains many herbs like Jivanti, Punarnava, Jeerak, Brahmi, Dashmola, Bhumi Amla, Choti elaichi, Ashwagandha, Bala, Shatavari, Chandan, etc. This product pacifies Tridosha i.e. Kapha, Pitta and Vata which eliminates anxiety, indiscrimination, fear, grief, etc.

Dosage – 2-3 teaspoonful twice or thrice with milk after meals.

3. Brahmi Capsules

Brahmi capsules are an amazing herbal product that has been formulated from the standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri which is very beneficial in treating Neurological Disorders.

Dosage – 1-2 capsules two times a day with plain water after meals.

4. Gotu kola Capsules

Gotu kola capsules have been prepared from pure extracts of Gotukola (Centella asiatica) which Manages Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety effectively.

Dosage – 1-2 capsules two times a day with plain water.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673349/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5405617/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/

Depression in today’s working women-how can Ayurveda help get rid of it?

Introduction

One of the basic factors that lead to depression is when we are not happy with the part of our self. While our natural body wants us to rest and take time for ourselves, we are only striving for reaching another goal, doing another big thing. The constant hustle and not giving oneself the time to breathe and feel the roses by living in that present moment have a deep impact on our emotions as well as physical health.

After a certain period, even our body gets so drained that the eight hours of good night sleep get ineffective in bringing rest to our body. Ever since the first-ever organized women’s rights movement in the small village of Seneca Falls, the United States in 1848, a lot has changed. While women are now working at par with their male counterparts in big corporate, participating in the policy matters, representing their nation at the international level in various sports, driving cars, planes, knocking off an opponent in the boxing ring but our social conditioning is still the same.

Herbs for Depression

Women are made to feel guilty by society and even in their intimate relationships for making time for themselves. They are judged by even the other women in the circles for not giving into the social conditioning that expects her to be active and attentive towards her household duty evens after all a long day at work. This constant juggle and striving to maintain balance in work-life along with fulfilling all the responsibilities of home life has torn women into two half.

Sometimes, women do that to themselves so that they don’t feel judged. Deep down they believe that in case they give up some of their responsibilities to work on their other commitments, their importance or place in the family dynamic might diminish with the time.

It’s a high time that we should start the discussion of women empowerment in various platforms in the sense of resting and recuperating and not only confined to opportunities in the corporate world.

The feminine energy that is predominant in females is all about creation, connecting to nature, self-love, and intuition that needed to be acknowledged and nurtured. We need to teach our daughters and friends that men and women are equal but still different. We should not strive to be men but our true authentic feminine self.

Our world is more in the need of a more caring and nurturing individual, not the technologies. Women are innate nurturers; it a matter of them understanding their powers and not wait for the world to confirm them.

Lack of self-love among women

The practice of self-love is what attracts the best things to us but many women who might seem very attractive and confident from the outside lack self-love. The only reason being not acknowledging one’s individuality and being oppressed with the social perception of perfect women.

Women need to understand that we are our being and have our strength and weakness and we all deserve love and respect. Putting you second and trying to be someone to be accepted by the immediate groups or society detaches one from their true self.

For instance, an all-night party might be an idea of fun for one individual but feel more like a nuisance for another. While the women all out there for reaching professional goals and making their mark in the industry, they should also try to know themselves. Their likes and dislikes.

Simple and Natural Ways to Overcome Such Depression

One does not need to spend bucks in an expensive salon or brands for feeling better, there some simple and effective ways we can adapt to practice self-love.

Taking a breather between work and home life

Taking time off for one even it’s half an hour can do a trick even between the busy work and home responsibilities even its spending time while having tea in your favorites spot.

Journaling

Writing is considered one of the best ways of emotional outlet. It helps one to put to emotional clutters in our head into writing. Journaling is not only beneficial for one’s emotional well-being but also for increasing your creativity. This is also another way to meditate if you are not into the traditional method of meditations.

Cooking

The act of cooking is among the creative expressions that the women have been practicing in their kitchen for ages. It is also an expression of love. Our mothers have been cooking healthy recipes in the kitchen with love and care. Practice cooking for yourself and also for your loved ones. It will heighten your nurturing abilities.

Savings

I know we have talked earlier about how women tend to stop caring for themselves while hustling between work and home but even a little saving can make them feel secure and grounded within themselves. The idea is not how much you earn but how you use your capital for feeling secure and grounded and stop living from paycheck to paycheck. It will help you to get rid of anxiety and fear of losing your job tomorrow and give the confidence to stand your ground.

Dance

It does not matter if you are a good dancer or not but dance especially the one with more hip movements can be proven to be beneficial for well being. Dancing increases one’s confidence, improves and removes any form of blockage. It helps you to live in the present movement while your body is in tune with the music and forgetting even it’s for sometimes the events of the past and fear of the unknown future.

COMMON ALIMENTS IN WORKING WOMEN

Other than the depression, some ailments that have seen in the women include heart disease, autoimmune diseases, breast cancer, and osteoporosis due to unhealthy lifestyle, lack of self-care and lack of rest but can be easily cured through natural methods.

HOW CAN AYURVEDA HELP IN MANAGING DEPRESSION?

Sometimes making the changes in lifestyle are not enough as it is a never-ending process that may affect anyone anytime because of the natural behavior of humans. So, we need to go some steps further and take the help of some natural herbs that will help in reducing the effects of depression without causing any other complications. Hence, the most effective and trusted herbs for managing Depression are

HERBAL REMEDIES IN AYURVEDA FOR CURING DEPRESSION

1.Ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha has been proven to be beneficial in curing stress and cutting down the anxiety levels. It also helps one to remain focused and to have more control over mood swings.

2.Brahmi:

Brahmi is a herb is proven to effective in calming the brain and bringing relief from anxiety and stress

3.Peppermint:

Peppermint or Pudina has a cooling effect on the nervous system and helps you to have good sleep.

4.Jatamansi:

It’s a herb that helps in curing insomnia. Jatamansi also works as a natural anti-depressant formula.

While all the above-mentioned steps and herbs are affected but if you are suffering from clinical depression, it is always advisable to consult the doctor.