Posted on Leave a comment

Beating the Late Fall/Winter Blues

women resting on leaves

Beating the Winter Blues: 10 Tips for Combating Seasonal Depression

Fall is officially here, and you know what that means: warm sweaters, falling leaves, and of course everything pumpkin spice! But, fall also means a change in our daily weather and sunlight. The days are getting shorter, and we are getting less and less daylight. Soon, we will be heading to work in the dark, and dropping the kids off at school just as the sky is cracking its first few bleak rays of light. We return home in the dark, feeling tired and drained, and still have to muster up the energy to cook a dinner, do the chores, get the kids ready for bed, and have a little downtime. That spring in our step that we had during the summer months? It has officially left the building.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually love the fall; I love the beautiful colours and crisp, sunny days, and I love all things pumpkin spice. But, I do notice how the change in season and the decrease in natural sunlight affects me, and can sometimes increase my feelings of depression and anxiety. People often feel sluggish and slow, their energy almost non-existent, as their bodies and minds adjust to less sunlight and a more dormant existence, preparing for the darkness and cold of winter. However, for some, this time of year brings about more than just sluggishness; for some, this time of year can cause bouts of seasonal depression.

It is important to be aware of your mental state during this time of year, and monitor for any significant changes or increases in depression, taking steps to incorporate a little extra self-care to help yourself through these dark months. Here are 10 simple self-care tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to beat the winter blues.

  • Stay active!

You might feel like a grizzly bear and just want to curl up in a den and not move until spring. But, the best way to combat feelings of sluggishness is to stay active. Even if it’s just to get out for a brisk walk around the block, you will feel so energized once you return home.

  • Get outdoors.

Soak up as much sunlight as possible by getting outdoors as much as you can during the day. Go for a walk on your lunch break, do some outdoor chores when you get home, grab the family and go for a bike ride after dinner.

  • Begin a CBD regime.

CBD oil is known for its calming effects and its ability to decrease feelings of depression and anxiety. If you find that you are affected by the changing seasons and shorter days, then start your day with Verima’s organic, high-quality CBD tincture to combat any feelings of depression you may experience. Make sure you also tuck Verima’s acupressure rollerball in your purse, for a quick, portable way to battle those blues throughout the day.

Use Verima’s acupressure rollerball to ease away tension throughout the day.

  • Eat healthy

Many people tend to crave comfort foods this time of year – thick soups, creamy stews, and lots of comforting carbs! While no one is suggesting eliminating those items (because we all know how wonderful they are!), be sure to also include healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. By eating well and fueling our bodies with nourishing foods, we feel healthier and therefore happier and more energized.

  • Add aromatherapy.

Essential oils are known to influence the area in the brain that controls our moods, and certain oils such as citrus or lavender can have calming and uplifting effects on people. Citrus is an energizing scent to use first thing in the morning and throughout the day, whereas lavender is a calming scent that is great to use at bedtime to help you settle off to sleep.

Verima’s Citrus Trio Lotion is a wonderful way to start your day, with its natural blend of white and red grapefruit, orange, and a touch of cedar.

  • Increase your vitamins.

This is a good time of year to make sure you’re on a high-quality multi-vitamin, and it is also beneficial to take vitamin C and vitamin D supplements. We get a lot of vitamin D from the sun, and when the days start to shorten, our exposure to this important vitamin decreases.

  • Stick to a schedule.

Sometimes, when we are feeling tired and depressed, it can be easy to fall out of our daily routine because our sleep patterns are thrown off; we are up more at night and have a harder time waking up in the morning. By sticking to a schedule, your body will become accustomed to sleep and wake times, which in turn will help to combat feelings of depression.

  • Take a vacation.

If the sun doesn’t come to you, you might have to seek out the sun! Take a vacation from the winter days and visit somewhere tropical. A vacation is something to look forward to, keeping you in a positive mindset, and the thrill of the vacation and the memories you make will last long after you return.

Treat yourself to some sunshine by taking a vacation during the winter months: Photo via Pixabay

  • Keep busy.

Add a few fun activities into your schedule throughout the winter months, to keep you busy and out of bed! Join a winter sport, pick up a new hobby, or schedule some fun outings with the family and friends. Having things to look forward to and keep you busy is a great way to beat the winter blues.

  • Talk to you doctor.

If you find that after trying several options to combat your feelings of depression, and you are still feeling very down and depressed, then it would be worth a conversation with your family doctor. That does not necessarily mean going on medication, but together, you could look at some options to help you feel more positive.

Posted on Leave a comment

Verima, Bang & Olufsen and my Dr. at Stanford

Lights out and it’s time for bed.  I grab my Verima Lavender tincture, add a dropper full to my chamomile tea and soon I will be ready to close my eyes.  One last thing, I grab my wireless Bang & Olufsen headset and tune into some binaural beats on youtube. Say what? Binaural beats are a technique of combining two slightly different sound frequencies to create the perception of a single new frequency tone and there are some really nice tracks you can download.

The theory is that when exposed to two different frequencies at the same time, one in the left ear, one in the right, the brain actually perceives a single tone that is the difference between the two separate frequencies. Your brain, combines it and then sort of “tunes” to this new frequency and it can help you relax.  One again, you have to use headsets since its two different frequencies, and wireless helps of course at night.

Brainwaves are created from the pulses of electrical activity our neurons exhibit as they communicate with each other. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all expressed through this constant communications between neurons.  Basically our brainwaves are associated with how we feel and what we can do at any given moment.

Science shows that exposure to binaural beats can create changes in the brain’s degree of arousal. Listening to these sounds that create a low-frequency tone, research indicates, triggers a slow-down to brainwave activity—and that may help you relax, lower your anxiety, and make it easier for you to fall asleep and more importantly stay asleep.  Basically the way it works is that the slower and lower frequency brainwaves are, the deeper your state of relaxation—or sleep.

There are some studies which show that the sound waves can help reduce certain hormones such as increasing DHEA, decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing melatonin.

There is some research that show binaural waves can also help with pain as well.  I recently met Dr. Darnall at the pain management center at Stanford in Palo Alto who has performed a lot of studies on the benefits binaural sound therapy to reduce pain and stress.  You can download the music file here for a small fee. .  According to one popular study it was found that binaural beats led to reduced anxiety levels and lower blood pressure levels before patients who were getting ready for surgery.

My recommendation is to pick a track that’s over 8 hours long if you can ( place the phone upside down so the screen wont light up your room, grab a little Verima and a little bit of binaural beats to help you get some restful deep sleep.

Beth Darnall, PhD

Enhanced Pain Management CD or MP3 – Beth Darnall, PhD

The relaxation response decreases heart rate, respiratory rate, muscular tension, emotional distress, and pain — all without pills.(9 kB)

YouTube | Brainwave Power Music

Lucid Dreaming Sleep Track (8 Hour Sleep Cycle Track) with Binaural beats and Isochronic Tones