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Navigating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Naturally 🌱

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on November 14, 2023

Navigating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Naturally 🌱

As we navigate November, the changing seasons can sometimes bring more than just falling leaves and cooler temperatures. Some of us may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition that affects many individuals as daylight hours decrease. In this newsletter, we'll explore the symptoms of SAD and naturopathic solutions that can help you navigate this condition naturally.

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD is a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months. It is often associated with reduced exposure to natural sunlight, which can disrupt our body's internal clock and mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Common symptoms of SAD include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Increased irritability
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite, especially craving carbohydrates
  • Oversleeping or difficulty sleeping

Naturopathic Solutions for SAD:

While SAD can be challenging, there are naturopathic approaches that can help alleviate its symptoms and improve your well-being:

  • Light Therapy (Phototherapy): Light therapy boxes that mimic natural sunlight can help regulate your body's internal clock and improve mood. Our experts can guide you on selecting the right lightbox and a suitable daily schedule.
  • Nutritional Support: A balanced diet rich in whole foods, particularly those with high levels of Vitamin D, can support your mental health during the fall and winter months. Supplements may also be recommended if deficiencies are present.
    • Our Dietician here at PCNH is a phenomenal resource & support system for anyone looking to imrpove their nutrition through & supplements: Kassy Montgomery, RDN, CDCES 🍉 - Learn More
  • Herbal Remedies: Certain herbal supplements, such as St. John's Wort and saffron, have shown promise in alleviating symptoms of depression associated with SAD. Our naturopathic specialists can provide guidance on the appropriate herbal remedies for your needs.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Incorporate regular exercise, especially outdoor physical activity when possible, to boost your mood. Managing stress through mindfulness practices, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can also be beneficial.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Maintain a regular sleep schedule, create a restful sleep environment, and ensure adequate exposure to natural light during the day to improve sleep patterns.
    • Our Naturopathic Environmental Health Specialist here at PCNH is an incredibly passionate & knowledgeable doctor who specializes in sleep optimization. He’s currently accepting new patients: Dr. Nik Belikoff-Strads, ND 🌿 - Learn More
  • Balancing Hormones: If hormonal imbalances are contributing to your SAD symptoms, our experts can provide guidance on natural ways to restore hormonal equilibrium.

Here at PCNH, we understand that SAD affects each individual differently. Our naturopathic specialists offer personalized support to help you manage and overcome this condition naturally, fostering emotional well-being and resilience.

If you or someone you know is struggling with SAD or seeking ways to improve mental health this season, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team. All four of our providers are accepting new patients & support patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Dr. Nik Belikoff-Strads, ND 🌿 - Learn More

Kassy Montgomery, RDN, CDCES 🍉 - Learn More

Dr. Amber Walz, ND 🌼  - Learn More

Dr. Ben Reebs, ND, VNMI 🌱 - Learn More

We're here to provide compassionate care and naturopathic solutions to guide you toward a brighter, healthier outlook, even as daylight hours decrease.

Wishing you a warm and uplifting November.

- The PCNH Team

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