4 Ways To Beat The #WinterBlues Naturally

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(The following excerpt from 4 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues Naturally by Sylvia Booth Hubbard recently appeared on newsmaxhealth.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

Now that the holidays are over and the cold, dark days of winter are setting in, you may feel a bit down and want nothing better than to curl up in a blanket, watch television, and eat. If so, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which peaks during the dreary months of January and February.

Winter blues, or SAD, is a type of depression that occurs every year during the fall and winter but goes away in spring and summer. Symptoms are the same as regular non-seasonal depression and include excessive fatigue, a loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy, and difficulty concentrating.
Winter blues are a real problem, says board-certified family practitioner David Brownstein, M.D. “There’s no question that patients suffer from the winter blues,” he tells Newsmax Health. “It is due, primarily, to a lack of sunshine. I hear from patient after patient that those who can get away for a vacation to a sunny, warm place, feel their SAD/blues symptoms fade.”

Short of either being able to jet off to the Caribbean for a holiday, (Dr. Brownstein’s “best prescription”), or beginning a regimen of antidepressant medications, there are other ways to conquer winter blues that are safe and effective.

• Let there be light.

Most researchers agree that the majority of people who fall victim to SAD are particularly sensitive to light — at least the lack of it.

• Take vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D.

The sunshine vitamin — contributes to SAD. “The best natural method is to maintain optimal vitamin D levels throughout the year,” says Dr. Brownstein.

•Exercise.

Many studies dating as far back as the early 1980s have found that regular exercise alleviates depression.

• Try St. John’s Wort.

Using the herb St. John’s Wort as a medicine dates to the ancient Greeks.

http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Headline/winter-blues-seasonal-affective-disorder-DrDavid-Brownstein-SAD/2014/01/05/id/545269

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