Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues,” is a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder that occurs and ends around the same time every year. Seasonal depression typically occurs when the season changes and most symptoms begin in the fall and continue into the winter months. However, seasonal depression can occur in the summer or spring, although this is less common. Anywhere from 0-10 percent of the population suffer from seasonal depression. Incidents are also higher in certain geographic regions and it is more common in women than men. Symptoms of seasonal depression often include apathy, anxiety, mood swings, sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, social problems and a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. Relatively common, there are things you can do to treat seasonal depression. Therapeutic Kneads has put together a list of practical steps to help address seasonal depression.

1. Journaling

Journaling is a simple strategy that can help improve your mental health. Not only does journaling evoke mindfulness, but it also helps in achieving your goals, improves your emotional intelligence, promotes accountability and self-discipline and may help you to heal past traumas.

2. Nutritional Support

A healthy diet including foods like lean proteins, berries, bananas, turkey and dark chocolate promotes good mental and physical health. Make sure that your diet includes the recommended amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, folic acids, vitamin B-12, and vitamin D. Knowing what your body is deficient in and which nutrients you need to supplement your diet with requires the assistance of a professional. Schedule a nutritional consultation with our Natural Medicine doctor, Dr. Mark Severance or with a nutritionist.

3. Sleeping well

Calling it an early night keeps your heart healthy and may help prevent cancer. Sleeping well also reduces stress, makes you more alert and improves your overall mood. Improve your sleep with a Tri-Core pillow. This pillow upgrade helps to prevent neck, head, shoulder and back pains and retains its shape at all times. A pillow consultation is complementary.

4. Salt lamps

Not only do salt lamps create a relaxing ambiance in your home, but they also cleanse, deodorize and purify the air, boost blood flow, raise energy levels, and enhance mood. Made from Himalayan salt, salt lamps may help alleviate symptoms of the common cold.

5. Oil diffusers

Diffusing essential oils can have many benefits. Different types of oils are used to promote different moods. For example, lavender and bergamot are great stress relievers. Jasmine is used to ease depression. Chamomile can be used to ease tension, release grief and anger.

6. Massage therapy

There are various traditional and advanced techniques of massage therapy that can address many different health concerns including seasonal depression. Therapeutic Kneads offers blended techniques that are personalized for you for pain and stress relief. TK’s services like Swedish Massage and Hot Stone Massage are soothing, promote harmony and balance and helps the body release the stress and tension associated with seasonal depression.

Though there are many steps you can take to manage seasonal depression such as the things listed above, it is important to note that anyone suffering from depression should also seek the advice of a doctor. If you are in distress please call your doctor or contact a hotline for 24/7, free and confidential support.