I had a reader question come in a few days ago that I found interesting enough to respond to in full, and I’ve decided to share it publicly so that others may benefit.
I suffer from seasonal affective disorder. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I definitely feel the winter time blues. Do you have any advice on how I can circumvent this tricky time of year? Thanks!”
I also live in a place that is rainy and cloudy for at least half of the year. I’ve developed a few simple, high leverage tricks that help keep my head straight through the gloomier months.
Here they are, in no particular order.
For 10-30 minutes per day, I sit in front of a bright light that mimics sunlight and tricks my brain into thinking that it’s still summer time. Hashtag life hacks.
I use this particular brand. Check it out. It helps me out a ton and I can immediately feel the difference when I use it (more energy, happier, more productive, etc.).
I also take a liposomal vitamin D3 supplement every morning with water.
Since vitamin D deficiency is the main culprit in bringing about seasonal affective disorder symptoms, I get my vitamin D from multiple angles.
Vitamin D outside (light box), and vitamin D inside (supplement).
3. Regular Exercise
Getting out of your head and into your body is necessary if you’re going to thrive during the cloudy months in your city.
Find a form of exercise that is genuinely fun for you, and do it at least 2-3 times per week. Better yet, do it with your friends.
In my life, that means dancing, doing yin yoga, and going to infrared saunas on the regular.
4. Eat Healthy
If your brain is missing certain micronutrients, then you’ll be more prone to seasonal affective disorder.
Eat a wide range of nutrient-dense, easily digestible whole foods (especially ensuring consumption of vitamin D and omega 3’s), and you’ll be fine.
For a quick cheat sheet of what I recommend as a baseline diet, read this article.
5. Ample Connection Time With Friends
Seasonal affective disorder (and depression and anxiety in general) tend to take hold when we’re eating poorly, not moving our bodies, and isolating ourselves socially. Human beings are a social species… which means that we don’t thrive when we spend too much time alone.
Make sure that you’re spending a lot of time with your nearest and dearest to fend off any unwanted sadness.
That’s it! Nice and simple.
Get your sunlight, eat well, move your body, and allow yourself to be deeply embedded in a community of people who love you, and you’ll have a handle on your seasonal affective disorder symptoms in no time. Best of luck!
Dedicated to your success,
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