Seasonal Affective Disorder: Holistic Ways to Combat SAD-ness
Lately you might be wondering why you or your clients have been feeling a little extra moody or exhausted. This is pretty common as the daytime grows shorter and nighttime longer, especially in the winter months.
But how do you determine if it’s just a case of the seasonal blues or something more serious?
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a subtype of depression that usually begins in the fall and continue into the winter months. In the US, 4-6% of Americans experience SAD, while 10-20% experience a milder form of this condition.
It is often characterized by:
- Depressive Episodes
- Low Energy
- Sleeping Troubles
- Lack of Appetite
- Difficulty Focusing
As a holistic hair stylist, it is important to surround yourself with positive energy. While there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, there are several holistic treatments you can do in your salon and at home to help prevent or ease symptoms you or your clients are experiencing.
Holistic Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
Meditation helps transform negative thoughts into positive ones. In fact, a recent study by Psychiatry Research has found that individuals who receive Mindfulness-Based Interventions indicated reduced stress markers and develop enhanced resilience to stress.
The great thing about Meditation is it comes in various forms, so you get to choose which method best fits your lifestyle. You can apply it even when going about your daily routine. Starting your day with an empowering mantra can be especially helpful when dealing with anxiety and stress. The key is to focus on the present moment and be aware of what’s happening around you.
SAD is triggered by lack of sunlight. The use of Light Therapy counteracts the symptoms by helping restore your body’s natural daily rhythms, also known as circadian rhythm.
The popular Light Therapy methods involve the use of a Dawn Simulator, a device that simulates the gradual appearance of morning light and a Light Box, which uses high-intensity lights equivalent to daylight. Both methods help synchronize sleep/wake up patterns with your current lifestyle.
Nothing beats the rejuvenating feeling after a good workout. When exercising, your body releases feel-good endorphins, chemicals that trigger the feeling of euphoria and general well-being.
Moderate exercise like running, walking, and yoga is great for relieving stress and keeping your mind and body active. While they may not seem strenuous, they help keep depression and anxiety at bay once you start feeling better.
Essential oils are known for their anti-depressant benefits. A whiff of therapeutic oils from herbs and plants like Citrus fruits, Rosemary, and Lemongrass instantly gives the mind and body a boost of energy and mental clarity.
Pro Tip: You can create custom scents by combining them with other essential oils. Check out our essential oil recipes here.
This may sound a little old school, but writing in a journal is still one of most effective ways of managing depression. Expressing yourself on paper helps make you more self-aware and more in control of your thoughts and emotions. Plus, you can literally say anything in it without worrying about what other people might think of you.
Photo by LIFE:CAPTURED
In addition to these holistic treatments, making significant lifestyle changes can assist in improving your mood. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and cutting bad habits out of your life are just a few examples. However, we still highly recommend seeking professional help if these methods do not work.
Have you tried any of these methods? Feel free to share your experience in the comments!