Winters in the PNW can be a real bummer. Constant drizzle, short days and long nights can make it hard to stay active, plus lowered vitamin D messes with your serotonin balance, leading to higher rates of seasonal affective disorder. But don’t let the rain get you down! Here are five ways to fight seasonal depression.

Get a Happy Lamp

Experts believe SAD is triggered by changes in our exposure to sunlight. Research has shown that light therapy, which is sometimes called phototherapy, can help people with SAD. Light therapy is administered by a device that contains white fluorescent light tubes covered with a plastic screen to block ultraviolet rays. The intensity of light should be 10,000 Lux. Many health professionals treat SAD with 10,000 Lux for 15 minutes to 30 minutes every morning. The Verilux HappyLight® Liberty Compact is an affordable way to get those man-made rays— just place it on your desk and switch it on every morning for a half hour.

women exercising farm to fit ways to fight seasonal depression

Bet on Yourself… to Exercise Regularly

Do you make fitness goals, then not follow through? Put your money where your mouth is! In a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study of over 200 dieters, those who were told they’d get $14 for every 1 percent of body weight shed were nearly five and a half times as likely to lose 5 percent of their body weight as participants not offered cash.

Make a bet with a friend, purchase a series of classes or for a more affordable option, get a membership to Aaptive, an awesome fitness app that costs $99 for a year membership!

Take Vitamin D Supplements

Our bodies most effectively process Vitamin D from natural sunlight… So when the clouds set in, it can be hard to get your essential daily dose. Folks with Vitamin D deficiency can suffer from bone density loss and increased depression. A good way to combat this is to take a Vitamin D supplement through the fall and winter– however, always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.

Take a 10-minute Nature Break…

In a UK study of over 1,000 participants, short walks in nature improved participants moods, among other benefits for the body and mind. Make it a goal to walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park, rain, shine or snow!

Or bring the Nature to You. 

plants ways to fight seasonal depression farm to fit

Alternatively, if you can’t get outside, bring the greenery to you! Not only do plants improve your home’s air quality, studies show that gardening can help reduce feelings of depression. If you don’t have a green thumb, try an air plant or succulent: they require less watering and are small enough to keep on your desk or a shelf.

Getting stoked about your healthy food can also brighten your day! Schedule your delivery of next week’s meals now to put a pep in your step every breakfast, lunch and dinner.

ORDER MEALS

WARNING: The ways to fight seasonal depression offered here are for educational purposes and are not meant to replace medical advice. Consult a medical profession before trying the above home remedies (or any home remedy/life hack on the internet for that matter.)