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Ten Ways to Conquer the Winter Blues, Naturally

16 Oct

It’s the start of wintertime blues or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), when there’s less daylight and sunlight available.  
Here are 10 natural, simple things you can do to improve your mood, attitude and energy. Try them and see:

  1. Make a point of getting outside as much as possible – during lunch break, in between appointments, first thing in the morning… whenever you can amp up your dose of daylight.
  2. Walk outside whenever possible - the more briskly, the better. If you must work out indoors, try to do it by a window.
  3. Keep your window shades and curtains open in your house and work space, to whatever extent you reasonably can.
  4. Get full spectrum light bulbs all over your place – wherever you spend a lot of time.
  5. Take Vitamin D… at least 1,000 IU. Maybe 2,000.
  6. Consider investing in a light box. They used to cost a fortune.  Nowadays you can get a decent one for under $100.  Check out the consumer ratings and pick one that has scores of people giving it a rating between 4-5 stars.   
  7. Make yourself get out of bed in the morning and open the shades, even if it’s the last thing on earth you feel like doing.  Sleeping late can make this worse.
  8. You’ll probably be craving carbs. Resist the starches and sugars (you’ll get a fast uplift from them and then come crashing down) and instead give your body the proteins and fats it needs to energize you and balance your mood.
  9. Listen to guided imagery, meditation and breath exercises for depression.  Our Health Journeys imagery for Depression  can be a big help; as can Traci Stein’s Self-Esteem Pack. Amy Weintraub’s Breathe to Beat the Blues, is another terrific resource.
  10. Ask for help if, in spite of your best self-corrective efforts to get yourself back on course, the blues persist or worsen.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award