Got the blues? Feeling S.A.D.? Here are some tips

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by: Dr. Frank Lipman
Tags: winter blues, sunlight, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises

(NaturalNews) It has been a brutal winter here in the Northeast, and I seem to have seen more patients this year suffering with a touch of the winter blues, also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Symptoms may include a tendency to oversleep, difficulty waking up in the morning, carbohydrate craving, getting easily exhausted, withdrawal from social activities, friends and family, and obviously feeling blue. While some battle these symptoms chemically with prescription pills or alcohol, I encourage my patients to chase the blues away with healthier options. 

My prescription is to try a combination of these side-effect-free ways to help beat the winter blues:

1) Let there be light.

For us light-deprived northern hemispherians, I recommend installing full-spectrum light bulbs at home, to help mimic the benefits of sunshine. Beaming high-quality full-spectrum light indoors is essential when adequate natural sunlight is in short supply. The full-spectrum bulb benefits? Better sleep, improved concentration, mental clarity and mood, plus a tougher immune system - so let the faux sun shine in! Full spectrum bulbs can be found at most hardware stores and

2) Take a sun bath

No matter where you live or how deep the snow, it's important to get outside for a dose of natural morning light. A 10-minute walk in the morning light will help re-set your body-clock and boost mood. No time in the a.m.? Then try a quick lunchtime lap around the block or office park. Another option: bundle up, find a bench in the sun and take a few moments to catch some nourishing rays.

3) Get off the couch

Exercise increases serotonin levels, which in turn helps banish the blues. Exercise outside and you'll get an even greater boost - studies have shown that one-hour of outdoor exercise had the same benefits as 2.5 hours of light treatment indoors.

4) Restore yourself

Spend 5-10 minutes twice a day in Reclining Open Chest Pose. This particular Restorative Yoga pose helps to elevate your mood and energize you when you are tired. When we support the back in this way and open the chest, we tend to feel more emotionally buoyant and physically energized.

5)Supplement your happiness

Eating healthfully, avoiding sugar, sleep-inducing simple carbs and comfort foods will help keep the blues at bay, but in winter, the addition of a few supplements can also help keep spirits high. In addition to the essential supplements I think everybody should take year round, my favorite blues-chasers include:

Vitamin D
Most people in the northern hemisphere - even those without the blues - don't get enough Vitamin D. As there's growing evidence to suggest a link between SAD and low Vitamin D levels, I encourage patients to take at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU/day through the winter to keep brain chemistry and neurotransmitter action at optimal levels.

Fish oils and other Omega 3s
Fish oils and omega 3's have a role in the synthesis of serotonin, and are thought to elevate mood and decrease depression. My advice to patients? Increase the dose if the blues start to get the upper hand.

For some, but not all SAD sufferers, especially people 40 years and older, 1-2mg of melatonin at bedtime can be helpful in relieving symptoms. Melatonin levels tend to drop as we age.

As it is the precursor in the biosynthesis of mood-boosting serotonin, I often recommend 200-400mg at bedtime.

?Insufficient levels of magnesium can compound SAD symptoms by inhibiting the conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP, which can decrease the production of mood-stabilizing serotonin and melatonin. To boost magnesium levels in winter, I recommend taking 400-600mg at bedtime. I tend to use Magnesium Glycinate as it does not loosen the stools as much as the other magnesiums.

6) Sunshine on your desktop

Patients with tougher cases of winter blues, may benefit from light therapy sessions, which can be done easily at home, in the office or on the road, with specialized light boxes, lamps and even wearable visors. A range of high-power light therapy devices, starting at about $200 are available at and Smaller, inexpensive versions are also available at Target, including the Philips GoLite Blu Energy Light, the Nature Bright Sun Touch Plus Light ($140 each) and the Zadro Sunlight 365 Personal Artificial Sunlight Therapy device for ($45).

7) You are not a bear!

So fight the urge to hibernate. After work, step away from the computer, and make the effort to interact face-to-face with loved ones, weather be dammed. Get tickets to a show, take a class, book nights out with friends, whatever it takes, just keep giving yourself spirit-boosting, off-line group activities to keep you engaged with your world.

About the author:
Dr. Frank Lipman is an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine. He is the founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, where for over 20 years his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest for life. Focused on sustainable wellness instead of quick fixes he offers patients a customized blend of Western medicine with acupuncture, nutritional counseling, vitamins and herbs, relaxation techniques, physical therapy and bodywork. In 2010 he developed Eleven Eleven Wellness by Dr. Frank Lipman, a line of leading-edge supplements and health programs. He is the author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again and Total Renewal: 7 Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health. Visit his blog, follow him on Twitter or join his Facebook community today.

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.