While it is common to experience more stress and episodes of depression during the cooler months due to the shift in weather, minimal sunlight and looming holiday stress, there are a few tools that may help you fight off the cooler-weather blues.
1. Take Your Vitamins
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that the body creates naturally from food and sunshine. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is found in plant-based foods such as cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens, whereas vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is supplied to the body through supplementation and exposure to sunlight, and supports immunity and improves mood.
2. Eat Wisely
Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel may also help relieve occasional seasonal depression. Omega 3 fatty acids help form cell membranes and keep them soft and flexible, which allows for better passage of serotonin through cells. Studies have also revealed lower rates of depression in countries where people eat more fish.
Additionally, foods such as brown rice, whole grains, lentils, fish, and turkey are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin production. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter associated with greater feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
Regular exercise is not only beneficial for your physique but also for your mind. Brief activity releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that cause you to feel happy and satisfied. Exercise can also help to generate new neurons in the brain, thereby potentially improving memory and brain function.
Moving your body provides a powerful outlet for stress, so even if you may not immediately feel happier, you may feel as though you are releasing unexpressed stress and tension.
Supplementing with key vitamins and minerals, eating healthy foods, and engaging in regular moderate exercise should help boost both your health and your mood throughout the upcoming season.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980's, is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner.
Since 1991 Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in northern California that focuses primarily on integrative, holistic protocols for cancer patients. He leads an integrative medical team at Amitabha Clinic in Sebastopol, California with focus on cancer and other chronic ailments.
To learn more, please visit www.dreliaz.org.
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