With the hour of sleep we all gained this past weekend comes the promise of dark earlier, less sunshine, and for some a depression commonly referred to as SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. The lack of sunshine contributes to the lack of vitamin D, which in turn may cause depression. According to an article in U.S. News: Health,
In the winter, it’s impossible to produce vitamin D from the sun if you live north of Atlanta because the sun never gets high enough in the sky for its ultraviolet B rays to penetrate the atmosphere.
For those of us north of Atlanta, apparently even spending time outside on a sunny winter day isn’t sufficient. The article also informs of the increased need for Vitamin D as we age. Winter doesn’t typically leave me depressed, but this information left me wondering about other effects of the bleaker winter months.
The clocks turning back have also turn our focus to the holidays. The expectations of the season often leave us feeling exhausted and depressed. I’m thinking that the shorter days are there to help us focus on rest, and we get busier and more stressed preparing for the all the festivities ahead. Here are two suggestions that may help you stay happier and more relaxed through the holidays and the long winter nights ahead.
Reflexology supports the body systems so well, that even a short session may help to set your emotions back to their happy place and relieve the less desired stress you are feeling. Natural Therapy Pages has this to say:
Reflexology works to relieve symptoms of depression by stimulating specific acupressure
points/nerve endings in the feet and hands, which in turn:
Causes increased bloodflow to organs;
Eliminates toxin build up in the body;
Stimulates the lymphatic system;
Activates the endocrine system;
Induces a state of relaxation, restoring harmony to both the sympathetic and
para-sympathetic nervous systems
Encourages a release of the natural feel-good hormones, endorphins, which have been
well-documented by science to reduce the body’s stress response;
Decongests energy pathways, allowing for optimal nervous system functioning.
In Memphis, of course, look to Footsteps In Eden for your reflexology experiences. For those living in other locations check with the Reflexology Association of America or the American Reflexology Certification Board for reflexologists near you.
You may also find it worthwhile to invest in full spectrum lighting. There are some small lamps. They are easy to use and carry back and forth from home to office or take on a trip. The price tag is reasonable too for the benefits of sunlight and increased vitamin D at the simple flip of a switch.
The HappyLight from Verilux (pictured here)* is one such item, and it has great reviews. A gift for yourself perhaps…. and I’m sure the jolly man in red might enjoy one too. After his exhausting rounds on Christmas Eve, he’ll be settled in at the North Pole without much sunshine either.