Fall is coming, bringing along its blues and melancholy. Standard WHO recommendations for seasonal disorders treatment include a healthy diet, relaxation exercises, and more physical activity. But let’s be honest: these tips are unpopular. We offer alternative ways of dealing with the fall blues.
Fall blues relates to seasonal affective disorders, so it is slightly weaker than a real depression. However, everything looks the same: it is impossible to pull yourself out of bed, no matter how much you sleep; even ordinary things seem a challenge, and any productive thought requires a powerful mental effort. It is impossible to focus on work, as if your inner battery was running low.
Depression is a widespread mental disorder characterized by sadness, loss of interest, inability to enjoy and have fun, a sense of guilt or low self-esteem, sleep disturbances, appetite, fatigue, and poor concentration.
However, a seasonal disorder has its advantages: it can be treated without antidepressants and lengthy psychotherapist sessions.
An ordinary person can diagnose and successfully treat depression. Only a small percentage of people with complicated depression may need specialized treatment.
There is something you can do without waiting for bad mood to obsess you fully. Prevention is the best treatment, which is better to be started today.
Undergo a complete medical examination
Some chronic diseases that are aggravated in the fall for various reasons can trigger depression. It’s not just about cardiovascular diseases, which often come with melancholy and depression. Maybe your body is suffering of a trivial infection or allergy, not of the rain and falling leaves. Then antibiotics and physiotherapy will help more than antidepressants and yoga.
Give up night working
Warm summer nights are almost over, so stop working late hours toiling at your projects. Night work lowers serotonin levels and causes psychological isolation that exacerbates self-pity. In fall, you need another shedule, a healthier and calmer one.
Buy a new lamp
Doctors and scientists blame short daylight hours for people getting so melancholic in the fall. It is yet unclear how sunlight affects the amount of serotonin (the hormone responsible for joy and happiness). However, its influence is a fact – light therapy is very effective in treating seasonal disorders. Furthermore, bright light regulates the production of hormones responsible for circadian rhythms and sleep quality, and decreases the level of cortisol.
The norm for the treatment of fall blues is 45 minutes a day in front of a fluorescent light that corresponds to the force of summer morning sunshine. No need to set a timer, just do not sit in the dark – find other ways to save electricity.
Visit a solarium
Solarium will help when a new lamp on the table is not enough. Do not overdo it – you’ll go to the solarium not for the tan but for a dose of heat and sunlight.
Plan a vacation in November
Take a vacation for a couple of weeks to fly closer to the equator, where there is plenty of sunlight. It is already clear why you need it.
Review your diet
It is easy to be a vegetarian in summer and early fall when you can eat everything from the vegetable garden. Do not overdo it with vegetables. Despite the usefulness, vegetarians are more prone to depression and OCD, as shown by Roy Morgan Research. In a transition season, scientists recommend to add more protein to the diet, at least vegetable one.
Find a good sushi restaurant with delivery
The sky is overcast, you are in no mood for cooking, and you want someone to come and feed you? Sushi delivery will kill two birds at once. You will yield to your laziness and relax a little, while fish fights your depression. In the Netherlands, scientists have established a link between the consumption of fatty acids and levels of stress hormones. If you eat oily fish at least once a week, life will become better.
Stock up on herbs
When you feel blue, brew tea with lemon balm or peppermint to relax a little. To reduce anxiety, you can drink herbal teas with valerian, hops, extracts of hawthorn and motherwort. Just take into account that these plants reduce pressure.
A good remedy against depression is a decoction of St. John’s wort, but it has most contraindications: exposure to sunlight, pregnancy and hypertension, and its excess doses cause intestinal problems.
Buy a few computer games
Choose the games, which require quick reaction and accuracy. Such entertainment helped the Cornell University research participants, who did not respond to antidepressants. So, if you are in no mood for going out with friends at the weekend, sit down in front of the monitor and play, but not more than four hours a day (before you develop an addiction).
Start drinking coffee
As Harvard scientists found out, drinking up to three cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of depression 15-20 percent. Besides, it is much nicer to grieve holding a big cup of coffee.
Sign up for acupuncture
You would like to treat your bad mood with something special, but you do not know what to choose? Instead of boring yoga, try acupuncture. This treatment in combination with drugs, helps patients with clinical depression, so, if you have light blues, you can expect serious mood improvement without any antidepressants.