Winter Blues and Seasonal Depression

winter health, winter blues, natural cure for seasonal depression, colorado natural medicine and acupuncture

Are you dreading winter?

Do you loathe the white stuff on the ground?

Do you just feel down about life when the cold comes in?

While some of us may love bundling up and sitting in front of a fireplace when the thermometer dips, there are others of us who experience physical and/or mental distress during this time of year that can make the winter months simply miserable.

Before dismissing your displeasure for the cues of winter, you may find it interesting to note that many of the symptoms you experience may be due to the actual season itself.

At CNMA, we find that the “winter blues” can be an actual condition some suffer from.
Specifically, we see this issue most commonly affects:

– actual feelings of body warmth

– mood and sleep

– the immune system and colds/flus with the most common questions below…

Why do I feel cold all of the time?
More than just typical cold hands and feet, if you feel cold most of the time you may have a cold intolerance which makes low temperatures agonizing.

With a cold intolerance, your blood vessels may be restricting which makes for slow circulation and an overall feeling of being chilled.

This can sometimes be due to anemia (low ferritin levels) or low adrenal function (in which the body can’t adapt to the stress of cold).

To fight cold intolerance, we recommend:

– exercising daily
– movement when cold intolerance is coming on
– acupuncture to improve circulation
– taking circulating and warming supplements (Warming Circulation™ by Herb Pharm®)
and teas with such herbs as ginkgo biloba, ginger, and rosemary

If symptoms do not improve with these naturopathic options, it is often advised to have adrenal and iron ferritin levels tested. Call our office at (303) 688-6698 to schedule your testing.

Why do I feel depressed during the winter?

As daylight dwindles and clouds seem to linger, many people can experience mood issues in winter.

Because light is an issue during this time of year, a UV lamp with at least 10,000 lux can be helpful for both the mind and body. Try to get 10-30 minutes in front of the lamp each morning (sit in front of it while getting ready, read or work by it, etc.) or sit by it throughout the day. By starting in late fall or early winter, you can get a jump start on this light therapy, working to prevent mid-winter blues.

In addition to light therapy, the following may also help enhance mood during the winter months:

– 2,000-5,000 IU Vitamin D (ideally taken with Vitamin K) daily

– Neurolink™ by designs for health® for increased neurotransmitters. Take 3 capsules twice a day consistently for at least 2-3 months

Why do I always get sick in the winter?

If you seem to only catch a cold or the flu in the winter, you’re not the only one. With low levels of UV light making Vitamin D production in the body decline as well as the lack of fresh airflow indoors, winter can bring on a plethora of sicknesses.

For guidance on how to prevent colds, click here.

In your home, open up blinds to let UV light in (it may help kill bacteria and viruses) as well as open windows for a brief time when a warmer day comes along to circulate the air.

As for your diet, eat seasonally! To boost your immune system, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables such as onions, garlic, mushrooms, pomegranates, and citrus that support the immune system.

Does winter have you singing the blues? If so, it’s not all in your head.

If you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area and have difficulty physically and/or mentally in the winter months, contact us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr.Graves to talk about what you are dealing with and how you are feeling.

Hope is around the corner…and so is the sunshine.

Posted in Acupuncture, blog, Colds, Depression, Functional Medicine, Functional Medicine Lab Tests, Herbal Supplements, mental health, Natural Remedies, Stress & Adrenal Health Tagged with: , , , ,

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