Don’t Let Seasonal Depression Get You Down

Don’t Let Seasonal Depression Get You Down

Did you know that approximately 80% of people in the US are low in Serotonin and low Serotonin is the cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder? This means that as we (in the Northern latitudes) head into the Fall and Winter and the upcoming US time change it’s a really good idea to plan for a Serotonin Boost!

Signs of “winter blues” can range from:

  • Sadness
  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased Cravings
  • Sleep Issues
  • Irritability/Moodiness
  • Negativity
  • Panic
  • Headaches

I want you to  know that there is no need to suffer for the entire winter season! There are many things you can do to naturally boost your Serotonin!

Here are my TOP TEN TIPS For Boosting Serotonin Naturally: 

  1. Increase your Protein intake. Your brain needs amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to make Serotonin so make sure you get 20-30 grams per mea
  2. Light Therapy! Serotonin is an ancient molecule that existed on the planet even before human beings.  When there’s not enough light outside, use a SAD Lamp or Visor. You can find many options on Amazon, but here’s one I recommend Ultralux 55 watt desk lamp from www.fullspectrumsolutions.com
  3. Vit D Supplementation. Vit D works more like a hormone than a Vitamin so it is a good idea to test your levels before beginning supplementation, but most people can benefit from at least 1000 IU of Vit D boost during the dark months.
  4. Increase concentration of amino acids through supplements. There are precautions for taking certain amino acids so it’s best to consult a Neuro Nutrition Specialist to make sure any amino acid you take is right for you. Tryptophan is the main amino acid the brain needs to make Serotonin.
  5. To help your brain effectively convert an amino acid into a Serotonin, it needs certain co-factors so consider adding or increasing your Zinc, Vit B 6 and Magnesium levels through supplement.
  6. Change your light bulbs. Increasing the wattage of your lightbulbs at home and at work can help your SAD and reduce eyestrain when reading or using the computer.
  7. Keep up your exercise! Even a 90 min walk can boost Serotonin significantly. Bonus points for exercises outdoors!
  8. Lower your stress levels. Stress sabotages Serotonin production. Try meditation, breathing exercises, journaling or Laughter Yoga to bring your stress levels down.
  9. Stop Dieting! One of the top causes of neurotransmitter depletion (including Serotonin) is calorie restriction. When you restrict your calories, you deprive your brain of the mentioned amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Even with holidays ahead, release the idea of dieting and instead focus on eating nutrient dense foods.
  10. Be sure you don’t have Pyroluria! Pyroluria is a genetic condition that affects zinc and Vit B 6 absorption which affects Serotonin. An estimated 40% of people who suffer from winter blues are Pyroluric. If you are – it’s easy to address through nutrition supplements If you answer yes to 15 or more of the questions in this Pyroluria Assessment, it is a good indication this applies to you.

Winter blues don’t have to sabotage your Joy and Fun this year! Take care to boost your Serotonin!

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Let me know if I can help in any way!

Leah

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