Homeopathy can help you banish the winter blues.
With the shorter days, lack of sunshine, wind, rain and snow it’s all too common to feel sad and unmotivated. These feelings can start to linger and develop into winter depression. Homeopathy can give you a helping hand to banish these winter blues, safely and gently so you can enjoy the winter months, rather than dread them.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression which typically starts to appear in autumn and may continue until March or April. In the spring symptoms lift followed by a mild state of euphoria. Symptoms vary in intensity and can include:
- Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyedHaving low energy and feeling sluggish
- Having problems with sleeping too much
- Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
There are several theories as to why some people suffer with winter depression. One explanation is the impact the reduction in sunlight has on the brain. Serotonin production reduces and melatonin production increases which affects our mood and sleep / wake patterns. Our body naturally starts to slows down; but our lifestyle and life requirements don’t.
In the natural world, winter is the season of rest, hibernation and an opportunity to rebuild energy for the spring and summer. Winter is a time to be still and reflect on our inner world. Our modern lives do not make much, or any, allowance for this. We find ourselves at odds with our innate natural drive to slow down and turn inwards, with the demands of our lives to keep going. We become exhausted but we don’t have the opportunity to slow down and rest. We may get physically ill and be forced to rest, or we may become ill in different ways which slows us down and we feel depleted physically AND emotionally.
We can’t hibernate but we can make small changes which can make a big difference.
As much as we may like too, it’s not possible to switch off and hibernate for the winter. But we can make small changes in our lives to accommodate the change in our energy levels during the winter months. You can find some suggestions further down this blog post.
Homeopathic help for the winter blues
You can treat an acute episode of SAD – one that comes on after an unusually long period without sunshine with self-prescribed homeopathic remedies. You may find these remedies helpful:
SOL – Sunlight! For exhaustion, oversleeping, tired on waking and with day time irritability. Generally feeling very cold and cannot get warm. There can be feelings of irritability, emotional sensitivity, impatience and weeping. Everything feels better for a hot bath and a short nap.
The beautiful gemstone AMBER. For dullness of mind, forgetfulness, aversion to company yet fearful of being alone. Conversation and noise in general can be irritating. Sleepiness in the day and sleeplessness at night. The winter months can feel very claustrophobic for some, we can’t get out and about as much. Amber can help here.
AURUM METALLICUM – Gold. For feelings of hopelessness, despondency and melancholy. It can be difficult to see past the dark winter months to the spring and summer for some. Aurum can bring some light to the dark days.
KALI PHOS – The cell salt for fatigue of body and mind. This wonderful cell salt maybe just the “pick me up” that’s needed to help through the winter months. There is significant fatigue both mentally AND physically. It’s a fabulous brain and nerve tonic.
CALENDULA – the sunshine flower. This remedy is well known for use in healing wounds, but it can also help with seasonal low mood. Calendula supports liver function and lymphatic congestion. Health liver and lymph function is important for immune function, energy levels and stable moods.
Are your symptoms seasonal or longer lasting?
It is not recommended to self-prescribe for long-term (chronic) depression and low mood. If your symptoms return year after year or last longer then the winter months, please seek professional help. Seasonal depression which returns each year may be part of a deeper issue which needs to be explored with the support and guidance of a homeopath or suitable therapist.
Other things you can try
- Let the light in. Light therapy can help. SAD lamps are widely available. 20 minutes each morning is recommended. These lamps mimic natural sunlight. Look for a lamp with a minimum of 10,000 lumen.
- Reduce blue light exposure. Reduce time in front of devices such as TVs, laptops and smart phones. Blue light reduces melatonin production which impacts the body’s circadian rhythm (our natural sleep/wake cycle) so we don’t sleep well or have difficulty falling asleep. Reduce exposure to blue light particular in the evening.
- Snack wisely. Craving carbohydrate snacks such as bread, cookies and crackers are normal in the winter as these foods increase serotonin levels and make us feel happier. However, processed carb based snacks not only deplete the body’s natural stores of vitamins and minerals they also cause blood sugar to spike then crash so we feel even more tired and low. Chose complex carbohydrate snacks, vegetables, and protein-based snacks instead.
- Keep moving. If it’s not possible to get outside for a walk or exercise, keep moving inside the home. Gentle stretching, yoga, a work out (at the right intensity for you). Movement raises serotonin levels in the body which makes us feel good and gets the lymph system moving which helps to release waste and toxins from the body.
- Vitamin D3 (& K2). Increase D3 intake via food or a supplement (ensure your supplement contains K2). Over the winter months with low sun levels taking a vitamin d supplement can help, however you may find you need to also make some lifestyle changes too. Foods high in D3 include oily fish, raw milk, eggs. Read more about vitamin D HERE
- Australian Bush Flower Essences
Sunshine Wattle. With sunshine in the name how can this not help? When life is grim and there is nothing or very little to look forward too and everything is a struggle. This flower essence can help foster joy, excitement for the present moment and optimistically anticipate the future
Dynamis Combination Essence. This lovely combination essence increases vitality. For when you feel sluggish, tired, flat and generally exhausted and lacking in enthusiasm. The positive outcome of this essence is a return of a joy for life and feeling revitalised again.Dosage for flower essence drops: 2-3 drops taken 3-4 times daily.