There are many factors that affect your mood. Did you know that the weather is a common cause for mood changes? During months or seasons where there may be less sun, many people become more depressed. This phenomenon is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. When we are exposed to less sun, our bodies make less serotonin, the” happiness neurotransmitter”. We also get less Vitamin D3; a hormone that affects mood. Below, I have my top 3 tips to fending off the seasonal blues. As always, please talk with your medical provider before starting a supplement or therapy.
- Try Light Therapy
- Take a Vitamin D3 supplement
- Take a Magnesium supplement
Try Light Therapy
I love lamp! Seriously, I am a big fan of light therapy lamps. These lamps mimic the sunlight that is missed during the winter and fall months. Lamps can be purchased at various merchandise vendors like Amazon. These lamps are extra bright and can be used while you’re reading or eating breakfast. These lamps work if used properly. Here are some tips to get the most out of your lamp:
- Make sure the lamp is 10,000 Lux- Lux is the unit of brightness and is determined by the brightness of the lamp and how far you have the lamp from your face
- Double check how far you need to have the lamp from your face to work- Look at the product details or Q and A for this info. I’ve seen ranges from 6-18 inches. The smaller ones are cute, but likely need to be very close to your face.
- Use in the morning- Use within an hour of waking up for no more than 20-30 minutes at a time.
- Consult your doctor before starting – This therapy is mood altering. It may also not be appropriate for people with eye illnesses, glaucoma, cataract, or diabetes.
Try Vitamin D3
Many people are deficient of vitamin D in the winter and fall because we get some vitamin D from sun exposure. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, changes in sleep, depression, hair loss, bone pain, weakness, decreased appetite, lowered immunity, and pale skin. Supplementing with D3 is a safe way to increase vitamin D. Check out this link for more information about vitamin D supplementation.
Magnesium is important for the management of seasonal affective disorder for two reasons. First, magnesium helps with the effectiveness and activation of vitamin D3. Magnesium is also needed for the production of serotonin, the ” happiness neurotransmitter”. Magnesium comes in many formulations, but the citrate and glycinate formulations are preferred. I like the CALM line. Check out this link for more information about magnesium supplementation.
If you’re feeling chemically depleted this season, do not give up hope. Make an appointment with your doctor to see if any of the above treatments would be safe and appropriate for you this season.