The Strength of Sensitivity Blog by Dr Kyra

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Enjoy Winter with Dr Kyra's 6-Step

Anti-SAD Action Plan

Holy moly winter arrived early and intensely this year here in MN! 
I’ve heard similar reports from my friends and family around the country. For those of us with a tendency toward winter depression (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder), we need to start taking action NOW to keep ourselves healthy and well throughout the long winter.
 
Here is your 6 Step Anti-Winter Depression Action Plan:
 
1. Acknowledge that Seasonal Affective Disorder is Real
You aren’t making it up, even if family or associates tease you about it or try to say you are exaggerating.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons and is diagnosed 4 times more often in women than in men.
Theories as to why some people develop SAD include overproduction of melatonin, vitamin D insufficiency, and too much serotonin transporter protein, which reduces the amount of the neurotransmitter available at the synapses.
Source: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml 
 
2. Stay Active and Get Outside When You Can
To counteract the sluggish desire to hibernate, do things to make yourself stay active: join yoga classes, partner up with an exercise buddy, or try something new and fun like Nia dance exercise classes.
Being cooped up indoors for months leads to a feeling of being ungrounded and eventually overwhelmed with EMF. For that reason, it’s very important to connect with nature throughout the winter, so get outside and walk whenever possible.
 
3.Light Therapy
There are several kinds of therapeutic lights, from full spectrum white lights to blue or green lights. With so many choices, it can be confusing to figure out what may work best for you. I suggest asking your friends, checking out Amazon reviews, and searching on ebay if you want to spend less on a used one to test at first. Here is an article from Mayo Clinic about choosing light therapy: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/in-depth/seasonal-affective-disorder-treatment/art-20048298
 
4. Sauna
The Finns knew exactly what they were doing with their ancient tradition of sauna. Regular use of a sauna enhances the cardiovascular system and reduces muscle tightness. There are two types of saunas: conventional dry saunas that warm the air and infrared saunas that warm objects. Both have very beneficial effects. There are probably more infrared saunas available than you realize in your local area at gyms, salons, and wellness centers. Try a Google search and see what you find.
 
5. Vitamin D & Omega 3 Supplementation
According to findings in Archives of Internal Medicine, the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. has increased dramatically. Vitamin D plays a huge role in our overall health that is yet to be fully understood, although it is well established that the major source of Vitamin D is skin exposure to sunlight. You can have your Vitamin D level checked by a simple blood test at your doctor’s office. Then you will know if a Vitamin D capsule will be sufficient or if you have a deficiency and need a higher dosage.
Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flax oil are well known in scientific literature to reduce symptoms of mood disorders, likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects and benefits at the cellular level. Since our western diets tend to have even less Omega 3s during the winter, you may want to consider supplementing with a quality Omega 3 fish oil or blend of fatty acids. "Cellular membranes from some tissues, such as retina and brain, are particularly enriched in Omega 3 fatty acids." Source:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2174995/  
 
6. Flower Essence Therapy
Those of you familiar with my book The Strength of Sensitivity already know that flower essences are energetic remedies made from the flowers of various plants and trees. (And is NOT the same as aromatherapy).
Flower essences help with all sorts of emotional and energetic issues and are incredibly helpful to ease winter depression. Just a few remedies to consider are Rosemary for enhancing blood flow and internal warmth, Saint John’s Wort for counteracting reduced natural light, and Zinna to remind you to keep having fun. This is my favorite wintertime remedy. A flower essence holds the energy of a summer flower in bloom. What a unique, healing gift to give yourself throughout the winter!
 
For more information about flower essence therapy, refer to my article, Flower EssenceTherapy for the Treatment of SAD, www.edgemagazine.net/2015/03/flower-essence-therapy-sad/ 
 
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