Winter Is Coming. . . Are You Prepared?

When the temperature drops and the holidays are right around the corner, many people look forward to the end of the year which will be filled with joyous celebration, family affairs, and festive parties. However, this time of year can throw unexpected hurdles your way in terms of additional stress, anxiety, and mood troubles. Are you prepared for this year's holiday stress? 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is aptly named, a type of depression that is related to the changes in the seasons. Many people begin to feel gloomy and glum in the fall and through the winter months, when the days are shorter and darker and the air is chilly. SAD can sap your energy and create mood swings, throwing a depressing damper over the holiday time that is supposed to be splendid and full of cheer.  

One of the most common ways to tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder is through light therapy. One of the key reasons for the chemical imbalance that results in SAD is due to a lack of sunlight during the winter months which can throw your internal circadian rhythms out of whack. To help keep yourself aligned, you can supplement your daily routine with a high-quality melatonin nutritional product, to help keep your sleep schedule consistent so you can continue to feel like your regular self.  

Because SAD is usually triggered by a lack of daylight, intentionally exposing yourself to natural sunlight outside, making your home and work environments as light and airy as possible, and sitting near windows when indoors, can also help improve your mood and reduce stress. Special lamps called light boxes are able to simulate sunlight frequencies, so you can expose your skin to receive them. This may help you have a greater sense of well-being in the winter. Outdoor exercise and a healthy, balanced diet can also help support your mental state during these difficult months.  

In addition to SAD, which affects about 5% of the adults in the U.S. each year, the holidays can be a stressful time for many. When we join together with family and friends to socialize and practice thankfulness, many anxieties may arise. For instance, the practice of buying gifts for each of your family members and friends may cause worry, especially if you have trouble picking out the perfect present or are short on cash. Tensions between family members can pop up. Coordinating and preparing for holiday parties or dinners can also be stressful, especially if you’re responsible for all the cooking! 

To avoid some of these anxieties, try modifying your holiday plans in advance. For example, have a discussion with family and friends and agree to not give gifts during a certain year to remove the emotional and financial stress of having to purchase gifts for everyone. Instead of throwing a holiday dinner party yourself, invite your friends over for a potluck so that no one is burdened with cooking the whole meal. Make your holiday soirée a pajama party for some added fun!  

During these stressful times, you can upgrade your stress relief with a nutritional supplement such as hemp extract. Hemp extract contains naturally occurring cannabinoids that are well-known to help support a healthy mood and offer occasional stress relief. It can even help promote healthy, restful sleep, and also help those who may experience SAD during the winter time. 

However you celebrate the upcoming holidays, be sure to keep your mood bright and your stress at a minimum. Envision the winter months as a time for introspection, joy, and thankfulness. Keep your mental state at its best so that you can deeply enjoy all the holiday time spent with your family and friends.