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Winter’s Here: 7 Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter’s Here: 7 Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

January and February are the darkest, coldest, and most depressing months of the year in many climates. If you find yourself feeling sad, depressed, and disinterested in your normal activities during this time of year, it’s not your imagination. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of mood disorder that’s associated with changing seasons and lack of sunshine.[1] It’s estimated that about 4-6% of the U.S. population struggle with SAD, and 20% may suffer mild symptoms.[2] If you’re noticing that your mood drops significantly in the fall and winter, you may want to try these seven tips to help you overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Make a plan

The best time to make a plan for dealing with SAD is before the symptoms even start of course, but that’s not always possible. Even when you’re feeling your worst, it’s important to make a routine you can stick to. Try to schedule in time to exercise, activities that get you out of the house (like game nights or dinner with friends), and even your meals. Plan some time for activities you love—and keep doing them, even when you don’t feel like it. Keeping busy and maintaining healthy habits are difficult when SAD hits you hard, but they can keep the disorder from taking over your life. So, plan ahead for the times when you don’t feel like getting out of bed.

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Try light therapy

SAD is heavily associated with low levels of sunlight, and light therapy has proven to be an effective antidote during the winter months. Light therapy boxes over 10,000 lux can be effective for treating SAD, and you don’t need a prescription to buy one.[3] Just make sure to use a model that does not transmit UV rays, and don’t use it right before you go to bed—you still need plenty of sleep!

Consider natural remedies

Vitamin D is something your body generates when you’re exposed to sunlight. In the winter, when sun is scarce, it can be helpful to take this vitamin as a supplement.

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Massage can be a soothing and relaxing activity that can boost your mood when you’re in the throes of SAD. It has been shown to raise serotonin levels, and improve your overall mood.[4] If a professional massage is too expensive, give yourself a rub down or have a partner help you. Massage schools can also be a great place to turn for inexpensive, soothing sessions.

Talk to someone

As with any mental health struggle, it can be extremely helpful to discuss your SAD symptoms with a therapist.[5] He or she can even prescribe medication for you if it’s appropriate (though this is usually a last resort for SAD therapy).

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Even just talking to a trusted friend or family member can make the situation feel less dark and hopeless. Most people have trouble asking for help, but talking through what you’re experiencing can help you get by during the winter months.

Explore your spirituality

If you’re a spiritual person, consider exploring that part of your identity. Though it doesn’t work for everyone, some people find comfort in their spirituality, using it to guide them through the dark and cold months of the year.[6] Not spiritual? Try meditation to help you relax and center yourself.

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Get moving

Tired of hearing about how exercise is the key to health and mental well-being? Well, it may not be the only key, but it does play a big role in your mood and overall outlook on life. It boosts chemicals in the brain that make you feel good, like dopamine and serotonin. You don’t have to exercise outside, but it can boost the overall benefit of exercise for dealing with SAD. You’ll get benefits from what little sunlight there is outside, plus the perks of moving your body. You’ve got more than enough proof that exercise can work wonders, even on SAD, that you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get moving.

Actually move!

This may not be the most practical solution, and it may not be what you want to hear, but if you’re constantly struggling with SAD, year after year, then you may be living in the wrong climate. Some people enjoy the colder, darker weather, but if you’re someone who feels better in the sunshine, consider relocating. Moving may be a radical last resort, but if you’ve tried everything and you’re still debilitated by winter blues—it may be just what you need.

Reference

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

10 Reasons Why You Should Get Naked More Often

10 Reasons Why You Should Get Naked More Often

Getting naked is often thought of as an act that should only be reserved for intimacy—and even then some get squirmy! Many people are more comfortable believing that the more clothes you are wearing the better. However, getting naked more often can have great benefits for you. Here are 10 great reasons to get naked more often:

1. It burns more fat.

Your body’s main supply of brown adipose tissue (BAT), or good fat cells, are located around your shoulder blades and neck. When your body is exposed to the elements and is cooler, the BAT proliferates and essentially kills the white adipose tissue, aka bad fat cells. So, not wearing any clothes helps promote this and makes you healthier.

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2. You’ll become comfortable with who you are.

Self-acceptance is hard to come by today. Ask anyone you know and see if they are happy with themselves. Chances are they will say they are too fat, not pretty, and find all of the flaws that they can. In reality, others do not see this. They see that you are beautiful. When you begin to get naked, you learn to appreciate your body and realize how beautiful you really are.

3. It saves you money.

Being naked more often saves on buying new clothing since you are wearing nothing a lot of the time. Be careful when you are in public, though—you may have to put on some clothes!

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4. It increases your immune system.

Being naked and getting exposure to the sun’s rays actually increases your body’s vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is directly related to your immune system. When you have optimal levels of vitamin D, your body’s immune system is impeccable, and you will be better equipped to ward off viruses, including the common cold and flu. So go lay outside naked on your private balcony or in your yard.

5. It makes you face your fears head on.

People cringe today when you mention the words “get naked.” They are so afraid of it—and today’s children are so ingrained with this—that they must wear layer upon layer to deal with their body image. However, when you are naked, you face your fears of body image and self-acceptance, experiencing some of the best moments of your life.

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6. You will feel better in your clothes.

When you do wear clothes (because not everyone has yet accepted being naked in public), you will start to choose clothing that accentuates the parts of your body that you love. You will begin to notice that maybe that muumuu does not flatter your beautiful curves and start wearing clothes that you love.

7. You will embrace vulnerability.

When you put yourself out there, it is a natural reaction to have fear and worry. However, this is an opportunity to embrace being vulnerable. It allows you to think and get down to the core of what really matters and what is of importance to you. When you strip away all of the excess, you are 100% you and willing to take on anything that comes your way.

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8. You will show the world the real you.

Today, we have many ways of altering our appearance from our true body image when we wear clothing. Some people alter their image so much that they fear getting naked with the person they love. It seems crazy that this could even happen; however, the rise in use of breast-enhancing bras and Spanx products has put this idea into people’s minds. This all goes back to being comfortable with your true body image. If a person really does love you, then they should not love you based upon your image. If they do, then you may even decide that the ever-so-uncomfortable leggings that go up above your waist to hold in all of the imperfections may not be worth it after all.

9. You will have fun.

Well, this could go in all sorts of directions. But when you are comfortable with your naked body and see it as being flattering, then life is more fun. You start realizing that you are beautiful and are willing to do more things that you probably would not have done otherwise—with and without your clothes on.

10. You can have intercourse with the lights on.

Many people are self-conscious about the way they look and decide that the less lighting the better when they are intimate with their partner. It’s nothing new. If you survey your best friends, you will probably come to this conclusion too. They may say that it even gets awkward, because they are more concerned with what their partner thinks of their body than just having and enjoying amazing intercourse. When you love the way you look naked, you will also want to have your partner see you at your best.

What are you waiting for? Start spending more time in the buff today and begin to change the way you think about your body.

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