Alternative treatments and therapies for SAD

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woman-running-snowMany people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months.

Symptoms can range from tiredness, inability to get up in the mornings and carbohydrate cravings to more severe symptoms such as depression, loss of interest in ‘normal’ activities and total exhaustion.

Although anti depressants are often prescribed for people suffering from SAD there are several safe and effective alternative remedies you can try:


A SAD light box is literally a box of very bright light which the user sits infront of every morning. Light boxes come in a range of sizes and different models will need to be used for different lengths of time. Some compact models only require 20 minutes use a day, whereas other larger models require a couple of hours use a day.


If you look at nature you’ll see that everything slows down. Trees and plants become dormant and some animals hibernate. Although you can’t stop your life for 4 months when you have SAD, you can slow down. Perhaps this is the perfect excuse to drop that committee you don’t really feel passionate about, start delegating or learn to say ‘no’ to any new commitments.

Dawn simulator

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If one of your SAD symptoms is finding it hard to get up in the mornings, a dawn simulator can help. These are ‘alarm clocks’ that you place near your bed. Half an hour or so before you want to wake up a dawn simulator gets gradually brighter which gives the pineal glad time to adjust.

St Johns Wort

Some people report success of treating SAD with a St Johns Wort supplement. This acts are a natural anti depressant. Take them as directed by a health practitioner.


Although exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing with SAD, maintaining a gentle exercise programme can make you feel much better. Swap your sweaty gym workouts for more gentle forms of exercise such as walking, tai chi or yoga.

Get outside

Even on cloudy days, you will benefit from getting outside if you suffer from SAD. Getting outdoors for 1/2 an hour every day can help balance the pineal gland by providing UV light to [amazon-product small=”1″]B000WE54B4[/amazon-product]your face.


Even though you may crave carbohydrates as one of your SAD symptoms, it’s important to eat a well balanced and healthy diet. It’s tempting to grab takeaways and convenience food when you’re feeling exhausted but you can make cooking easier by using a slow cooker or batch cooking and freezing foods. Increase your intake of essential fatty acids in the form of oily fish or flax seeds.

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