The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler. While some Midwesterners love to see the leaves turn and look forward to snow-covered mornings, others feel like the world is closing in on them. October is Depression Awareness Month, and for those of us with severe Seasonal Affective Disorder, it is a good opportunity to check in with our doctors. Those with milder “winter blues” can try a few simple changes first.
These alarm clocks wake us up with light that gradually increases in intensity, just like a sunrise. The best ones use natural light-simulating full-spectrum light.
The use of essential oils can influence our moods, internal clock and appetite. Oil from the poplar tree can be particularly effective in helping with depressive disorders. Add a few drops to a bath in the evening to unwind.
Endorphins released by physical activity can do wonders for our sense of wellbeing. Outdoor exercise is ideal, but spending time on a treadmill or elliptical machine near a window can create a similar effect.
Jotting down our thoughts every day can be a good way to work through any negative feelings. Try writing for about 20 minutes most nights to reflect on the day and decompress before trying to sleep.