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6 Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Healthy Living
February 11, 2013
These tricks will help you perk up.
These tricks will help you perk up.

Even if you don't have full-on Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.), chances are you still get a little down in the winter. Just the fact that the sun sets at 4 p.m. these days is enough to make a grown woman cry. That's why we reached out to Nieca Goldberg, MD, for the best ways to boost your mood until spring.

By Emma Barker

1. Let There Be Light
Part of the reason we feel so bummed out in the winter is that we're not exposed to sunlight as much as we are in, say, the middle of the summer. Enter HappyLight. It's a lamp that mimics sunlight in your gloomy apartment. It sounds hokey, but 30 minutes in front of one of these will pep you right up.

2. Load Up On Tryptophan
Foods like turkey, milk, and egg whites contain the famously calming chemical, but turns out it also boosts your mood. Aim to have at least one serving a day.

3. Become a Home Chef
Incorporate basmati rice into your diet to keep your blood sugar level even When your blood sugar is good, you feel more even-tempered, and basmati digests in a way that slowly raises it. Also try to incorporate more fruit into your diet. It raises your serotonin levels, making you feel happier.

4. Cut Back on Booze
Alcohol is a depressant so you should limit your intake if you're feeling low. Try doing a detox with your buddies and keep tabs on how it makes you feel.

5. Opt for Herbal Tea
Coffee is great and all, but if you've been having trouble sleepingor feel more anxious than usual, switch it out for soothing chamomile or green tea.

6. Flex Some Muscle
It's easy to snuggle under your comforter, but getting your blood pumping will give you the mood-boosting endorphins you need. If you can't face the frigid outdoors, try a fitness class in a warm studio.

7. Get Out of Town
Sure, a sunny locale is ideal, but even if you can only make it to the next town over a change of scenery is perfect. Plus when you're out of town you tend to spend more time outdoors, which exposes you to more mood-boosting vitamin D.

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