By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Maria Cummings

The winter blues, medically known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is different from the average depression because it is only seasonal, unlike the average depression which is daily. You may be wondering,”How do the winter blues get started?” It usually starts at the end of fall or the beginning of winter. When the daylight hours are shorter, it affects the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is your body’s way of differentiating time (the biological clock) which is influenced by light and dark. As soon as the fall ends and winter begins the days become shorter leaving less sunlight. Winter blues can throw the sense of well- being off and affect hormones, metabolism, appetite, and cause fatigue. A Vitamin D deficiency can also be the culprit to having the winter blues because people with depression usually have low levels of Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D can also affect energy levels. Therefore the combination of mood changes and fatigue could be a red flag of a Vitamin D deficiency. Now that is a prescription without side effects that most people would be happy to take!

What Can Help with Winter Blues? Sunlight contributes to increasing serotonin levels aka “the happy hormones,” and your skin naturally produces vitamin D in the sunlight. So, get out and get in the sun if possible, open your curtains or blinds at home or in the office to expose as much sunlight as possible. Exercise will help your state of mind too. I know that when you have the blues, you do not feel like exercising, but exercising will help kick those blues out and get your endorphins pumping! Come on you can do it!

If you have been struggling with the winter blues, there is hope! Try taking a few small steps by getting into the sunlight in when possible, exercising, and making sure that your vitamin levels are balanced with our Vitamin and Mineral Test Kit. Winter time is the best time to test your vitamin D levels, that way you can be at a lower risk for depression, flu, and colds. This year shed light on the winter blues and make it your best winter yet!

To check your Vitamin levels, click here!

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Medical disclaimer: Our Vitamin and Mineral test kits and all tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.