Did you know that seasonal mood disorders don’t only plague us in the colder months?
It’s a little known fact that you can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, whenever there are seasonal changes—and this includes the transition into Summer and Spring.
In fact, studies show that there is actually a valid link between mental health and seasonal allergies; With some people experiencing depression and anxiety as an allergy symptom.
Still, it isn’t something that the bulk of us get medication or therapy for. Self-care and alternative healing methods are always among the first options we consider when dealing with light to mild seasonal sads, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
If the season has you feeling a little down lately, here are 4 all-natural mood boosters to help you get back in alignment mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Increase and diversify your sources of Vitamin D.
Research has shown that Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating mood and decreasing the risk for depression and anxiety. So much so, that feelings of overwhelm, sadness, and hopelessness are also symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency.
This is why it’s suggested that we get 10 to 30 minutes of sunlight a day, several times a week, in order to get enough Vitamin D in our system.
Unfortunately, this can be a pretty difficult thing to do. So it’s important that we get this mood-boosting vitamin from various sources such as sunshine, healthy foods, and even supplements that your doctor has OK’d.
Make it a point to move your body more.
Deliberate exercise and other forms of physical activity lead to higher circulating levels of dopamine and serotonin by triggering your brain’s natural reward system. Thus, it effectively relieves symptoms of depression and expands your capacity for happiness.
Now, you don’t have to turn into a complete gym rat to utilize this solution! You can go for 30 minute walks in the park, get active with your kids, or even stand up for things you’d usually stay seated for. Whatever you choose, just make sure you get your body moving.
Talk to your doctor about taking supplements.
Of course there are times when you can’t boost your mood all by yourself, and that’s when the doctor steps in. However, some of us don’t want, or even need, to be on a daily medication to achieve the happiness we desire. So instead, we opt for supplements.
These supplements are oftentimes mixed with various herbs and vitamins that have already been proven to be mood-boosting. While there are plenty of supplements on the market that claim to positively impact your mental health, some of them are straight up lying.
That’s why it’s super important to ask your doctor what is right for you (if any supplement at all!) before you take this route to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Give yourself an outlet for your feels.
Sometimes the source of our seasonal unhappiness is purely environmental. Maybe it’s warm out and seeing everybody go on vacation has made you feel lonely and stuck; Perhaps the holidays remind you of a passed on loved one; Or maybe summer has always been just a drag for you as an adult.
Whatever the reason is, the most effective thing to do in these situations is to first get your feelings out in the open. Whether it’s journaling every night or painting your mood onto a canvas at a ‘sip and paint’, it’s important to express yourself.
Self-expression gives you the opportunity to do two things: 1) Get those thoughts and feelings out so that they don’t grow into something deeper and 2) Give you a chance to find a solution to the issues you’re facing.
Seasonal sads might feel uncomfortable, but they’re not the end of the world. By taking a few practical, proactive steps towards your happiness, you’ll be able to manage and even eradicate the symptoms of SAD with ease.