Today is the so-called “most depressing day of the year”, the third Monday of January or as it’s more commonly known “Blue Monday”.
The evidence behind "Blue Monday" is lacking, as we know that depression can affect people all year round rather than just one day of the year. However we do understand that people may feel a little lower and tired during this period of the year due to the post-Christmas slump mixed with the cold weather and lack of sunlight.
This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and is said to be brought on by the change in certain seasons, typically starting in the end of autumn and early winter and continuing up until spring or summer. There are a few reasons for this, darkness can increase the production of melatonin which helps to regulate sleep, winter days become shorter and melatonin production can increase leaving people feeling lethargic in the middle of the day. Additionally with this lack of sunlight, serotonin can become depleted; serotonin impacts all parts of the body from our emotions to motor skills and is considered a natural mood stabiliser which helps with sleeping eating and digestion. Similarly the lack of sunlight experienced by the darker months can also affect our bodies’ ability to synthesise Vitamin D, which helps to keep our bones and immune system healthy.
There a number of natural remedies that may alleviate certain symptoms of SAD, although we do advise consulting with a medical professional if symptoms persist.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Vitamin D can be difficult to create in the winter months due to lack of sunlight, many people find themselves travelling to and from work in the dark and this can impact the body’s production of Vitamin D as we synthesise this vitamin from direct sunlight. As a result, supplementing with vitamin D is advised to keep levels maintained. Evergreen have a wide range of vitamin D products which can be taken during these months such as the BetterYou sprays, Natures Plus Source of Life Garden Vitamin D3 or One Nutrition Vitamin D-3 Max.
Improving Your Sleep Quality
Sleep has a major impact on your mental health and energy levels. It’s essential that you’re getting the right amount, although it isn’t always that easy. If you are struggling with sleep quality, simply adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a bath at night can help your body to relax and prepare for bed. You can also apply an essential oil to an old rag or muslin cloth and leave it beside your pillow. Alternatively you could use Mag365 to relax your muscles or L-Theanine, found in most green and black teas, to calm a busy mind before bed time.
When it comes to mental health, what you eat can make a big difference. Research shows that a balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water. Even if you haven’t started your new year’s resolution of healthy eating yet, it’s never too late to start!
Cut out Stimulants
It can be quite easy to fall into the trap of using stimulants to enhance our moods, as the mornings become darker; we rely on coffee to wake up or sugar to give us energy throughout the day. Unfortunately these methods of coping are not sufficient as they induce our bodies into unnatural states of high and low. It may be worth trying to replace these in the morning with Revive Active or Nature’s Plus Source of Life Gold, which can give you a natural boost.
Exercise can enhance mood no matter the time of year. In the winter months it can be harder to go outside, or find the motivation to go to the gym when it’s darker in the evenings and mornings. This is why it is especially important to exercise, as your mood levels may deplete, exercise will combat this by releasing endorphins which help with mood regulation. Any exercise will do, from a simple walk on your lunch break to a gym workout or a yoga class. Exercise can also help improve the quality of your sleep.
As always, our knowledgeable staff are on hand in store to help you with the any of the information mentioned above or check out our other blogs for more health related posts.
Evergreen, good health naturally.