Author: Dr. Vikram Chauhan

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/

Home and Herbal Remedies to Beat Winter Blues

There are many common conditions that affect a person’s mental or physical health but remain untreated due to a lack of awareness about the proper treatment. similarly, winter blues is, in which a person gets depressed during winters. Not getting it treated on time may lead to the seriousness and other related syndromes. In this article, we are discussing its natural treatment with home remedies that are easy and safe to adopt and effective herbal remedies by Planet Ayurveda.

A Person Suffering from Depression

What is Winter Blues?

The winter blues are the depression state during winters and also called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is common for most of people to experience a mood change during winter, on cold days. You may feel more lethargic and down overall. The symptoms that occur in people with SAD are feelings of hopelessness, depression or sadness, lack of energy, fatigue, difficulties with sleeping, mood swings, fluctuations in appetite and loss of concentration and interest in normal activities.

Causes

Low levels of hormones like serotonin and melatonin cause seasonal affective disorder. Serotonin is formed in our body from the messenger amino acid tryptophan, and serotonin is converted into melatonin at night by the pineal gland. Thus less serotonin means less melatonin, which leads to depressed emotions. SAD patients produce lesser serotonin during the winter season.

Do you experience winter blues as the day gets colder and shorter? What has helped to enhance your mood during the winter season?

The natural way is a better way to beat the winter blues. There are various home and herbal remedies that can help to enhance your mood. If you want to enjoy the natural beauty in the winter season without getting depressed, then adopt the following natural methods.

Home Remedies to Beat Winter Blues

1. Dietary Guidelines

Eating a proper, healthy, compatible, and whole food-based diet keeps the body and mind healthy. The following key nutrients will help you in correcting the mood during winter:

a. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The Food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as ground flax or chia seeds, soybeans, walnuts, fatty fishes like herring,  salmon, etc.,

b. Vitamin B Complex

It is essential for balancing mood and a healthy energy level. Like Vitamin B-12, low amounts of vitamin B-12 in the blood are correlated with depression. So, to reduce winter blues take vitamin B-12 rich food such as wild salmon, eggs, clams, crab,  oysters, cottage cheese, milk,  yogurt, and enriched cereals.

c. Vitamin D

This vitamin is usually made from cholesterol in our body with the help of sunlight. Some food has vitamin D like, cheese, egg yolk, etc.

d. Folic Acid

Folic acid shows effects on the brain and boosts up the mood. Folic acid-rich foods are oatmeal, leafy greens, oranges, fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, lentils, soybeans, and black-eyed peas, and many others.

e. Reduce Sugar Consumption

Excess of sugar can alter brain functions and slow it down. So, it can be a reason for winter blues, thus, reducing the sugar consumption helps in beating winter blues.

2. Exercise

Aerobic exercise improves mood and reduces stress. It helps people get out of the feelings of depression due to winter blues. It fights depressed moods by giving oxygen to our cells as well as increasing serotonin levels. Exercising in the morning gives energy to the body, and helps in removing the winter blues.

Herbal Remedies to Beat Winter Blues

Planet Ayurveda offers the best herbal remedies to beat the winter blues. These herbal remedies comprise natural herbs and are 100 percent pure, free from additives, chemicals, and preservatives. These are reliable, effective and do not create any side effects.

The Herbal Products by Planet Ayurveda are the following:

  1. Gotu Kola Capsules
  2. Stress Support
  3. Brahmi Capsules
  4. Brahmi Chyawanprash

Herbal Supplement for Winter Blues

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Description of These Products

1. Gotu Kola Capsules

Gotu Kola Capsules is an effective herbal remedy for depression and stress. These capsules are made using a pure and standardized extract of Gotu kola (Centella Asiatica). This herb is useful in enhancing memory, managing concentration as well as aiding in the treatment of acidity caused by stress and depression. Gotu kola capsules help to prevent nervous exhaustion and calm the nervous system. Therefore it is effective in reducing winter blues.

Dosage: Two capsules two times a day with plain water after meals.

2. Brahmi Capsules

These capsules comprise the pure and standardized herbal extract of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). This herb is known for its various therapeutic benefits and is considered an aphrodisiac, health tonic. These capsules are useful in reducing winter blues as it helps to promote memory, good mental health, reduce inflammation, boost immune system function, control blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and remove free radicals from the body.

Dosage: Two capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

3. Stress Support

This product is formulated by using effective herbs such as Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), and Tagar (Valeriana wallichii). These herbs provide positive effects on the nervous system and reduce stress and depression. Thus, these capsules can be used in winter to reduce winter blues.

Dosages: One capsule two times daily with plain water after meals.

4. Brahmi Chyawanprash

Brahmi Chyawanprash is a wonderful blend of various herbs such as Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica), Bhumi amla (Phyllanthus niruri), Dalchini (Cinnamomum Verum), Chandan (Santalum album),   Pipali (Piper longum), Kesar (Crocus sativus), Akarkara (Anacyclus pyrethrum), Sharkara (Saccharum officinarum), and many more. All these herbs help to improve the nervous system, treat the autoimmune diseases and boost the functioning of the immune system and also helps to reduce stress and depression.

Dosage: 2-3 teaspoonful twice to thrice a day after meals, preferably with milk.

Conclusion

The above information concluded if you want to enjoy the cold and seasonal changes without any depression and disturbances, as many people may suffer from winter blues, go for natural remedies by adopting home remedies which are easy to prepare and use at home and herbal remedies that have been provided by Planet Ayurveda.