Let’s face it: surviving winter can be tough. That’s especially true if you live in an area where cold, clouds and snow are a constant reality. Metaphorically speaking, we’ve all been there — literally speaking, some of us still live there.
Thankfully there are many natural ways to beat seasonal depression. For best results, combine any or all of them!
10 Effective Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression
Try Incorporating Supplements
Vitamin deficiencies are practically an epidemic, but they tend to get even more severe in the wintertime. Vitamin D is a common deficiency that most people will experience during colder, winter months . It’s both a vitamin and a hormone, and it’s usually made by chemical reactions that occur when skin hits the sun.
Not much sun where you live? Then you may want to speak to your doctor about checking your vitamin D levels. Supplementing with liquid vitamin D or even cod liver oil could be a good workaround to add to your daily routine.
We’ve become quite the regulars of building a morning vitamin routine during the colder months. Vitamin D, fish oil, CBD gummies and magnesium.
Exercise is a natural mood booster, which makes it especially important this time of the year. “For some people it works as well as antidepressants,” Dr. Michael Miller tells Harvard Medical School’s blog. He goes on to explain that exercise “supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression.” In other words, working out is good for the body and the brain.
On an equally interesting note, exercise may help our bodies produce more naturally-occurring endocannabinoids. These molecules have been correlated with improved mood, better cognitive function, and yes, even “runner’s high.” And why not try one of our favorite combos? Exercising while high.
Take your routine one step further and treat yourself to a CBD topical to ease sore muscles. It’s become part of our daily routine and we won’t ever be able to look back.
Eat Healthy Fats
Eating enough healthy fats could also go a long way towards fighting the wintertime blues. The omega 3 fats found in fish, other seafood, and some nuts are extra important because our bodies don’t naturally produce them.
When omega 3 intake is high enough, though (and coupled with low omega-6 intake), great things happen! These fat sources actually form the building blocks for CBD-like endocannabinoids! While eating such foods might not be the most direct route to boosting your health, it may still lead to feelings of well-being and hope.
Feeling like trying something different and healthy? Why not try making your own edibles at home to cheer you and your belly up.
Cold exposure — seriously. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
And selective cold exposure can actually make your body more resistant to cold. It activates heat-producing “brown fat” and may even help your body produce more feel-good hormones like norepinephrine.
To leverage the cold to your advantage, you can try everything from cold showers to ice baths. Not feeling so brave? Even setting the thermostat down a few degrees could have an impact on your body’s brown fat activity.
Give CBD A Try
Speaking of brown fat and its warming ways, CBD may help activate the brown fat too! That’s according to a 2016 study from Daegu University in Korea, at least. Researchers were inspired to theorize that this could make CBD great for weight loss.
Interesting, right? And this is in addition to all of the other mood-boosting qualities CBD oil offers of course.
Or Smoking Hemp…
Want to feel better — fast? If CBD oil just isn’t cutting it, then consider a smokable hemp product. Our Key to Cannabis community loves hemp flower for the immediate calm it provides. Plus the act of smoking in and of itself can be super relaxing! If you’re in need of a healthier winter ‘crutch’ hemp flower might just be it.
Don’t feel like stepping outside in the cold? Gift yourself a vaporizer to minimize the smell indoors.
Or Cannabis Altogether!
Far from being a gateway drug, cannabis could help you keep other substances (think alcohol or sugar) at bay. It’s a perfect way to slow down, ponder things, and find joy even in life’s smaller moments.
As famed blues singer Muddy Waters once said about the herb: “well you know it’s good for your head, and it relax your body don’t you know.” If that isn’t proof of cannabis’s utility, we don’t know what is.
Get Plenty of Light
Wintertime in many areas is marked by a sometimes-dismal lack of sun — even those who live down South experience shorter days and longer nights. While we’ve already mentioned how this relates to vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” isn’t the only thing to miss out.
To prevent your mood from also suffering, consider buying a light therapy lamp. The extra adventurous can even try taking an infrared sauna or two. Many people report that both therapies reduced their seasonal depression.
Consider Taking A Vacation
If you live up North, why not take a midwinter trip to warmer lands? You’ll return refreshed, revived, and significantly more vitamin-D replete.
Impractical, perhaps, but not ineffective. Consider it an investment in your health!
Laugh A Little…Or A Lot!
It’s true: laughter is the best medicine. Second to cannabis of course.
What if you don’t feel like laughing when faced with news of yet another winter storm, though? Good question. Neuroscience is discovering that emotion flows both ways — so while we laugh when we feel good, we can also feel good by laughing. Try it out for yourself!
A Balanced Winter Wellness Approach to Beat Seasonal Depression
So, there you have it our 10 ways to combat seasonal depression and thrive throughout the winter. One of the best things about this list? You don’t have to do everything on it to feel better. Life’s not about perfectionism, anyways. But it is about taking a sustainable, holistic approach.
Interested in learning more about how cannabis can be a great addition to helping aid depression symptoms? Read this article on CBD for Depression.