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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Natural Help


This problem affects many here at this latitude. The lack of sunshine producing vitamin D (plus other effects of natural light) leave some of us feeling depressed, down and unmotivated.

Some people are more susceptible to this than others owing to a different subtype of serotonin receptor. In essence, a shortage. Some people it turns out, do not have the receptor capacity to feel happy even when nothing can be identified to feel blue about. They slip into despair and dark when deprived of light and staying inside.


Here's 4 simple tools to help.

1. The most natural involves taking nothing. Exercise and get adjusted. Here’s the rub. If you’re not feeling peachy, you just aren't going to run out the door and exercise. So, this requires some external cheerleader or partner to drag you out and keep you accountable. Perhaps the same for getting adjusted. It turns out, the nerves at the top of your spine, the vagus nerves control autonomic or unconscious functions in the body. Getting adjusted keeps them happy and doing what they’re supposed to do for chemical balance.


2. “Sunshine”. You can buy full spectrum lights and put them on your desk at work or home so you have skin exposure to light while you’re not bundled up outside. 30-60 minutes per day of full spectrum light exposure helps many within days. Look for 10,000 lux for output. They’re about $50 give or take… if you can find one now. The season is in full swing and stock is low for the nice ones. Just park it on your desk.


3. Vitamin D. This has been shown to be associated with SAD. The National Institute of Health says there is no proof it helps. There is some proof that it does though as well. However, since you need it for your immune system and bones anyway, put it on your list. 5,000IU per day. No, you’re not going to overdose. That’s a typical, stay healthy, dose for immune function anyway.


4. Eat healthy. If you want to be more alive than dead, eat more alive foods than dead foods. That means fresh foods, not processed, cooked, preserved, treated, sugared, colored, bleached, concentrated, enhanced…. foods. You get the idea. Veggies, fruit, clean protein and healthy fats. Your brain is made of fat so that last one is important. Those fats are olive oil, real butter, coconut oil, avocado oil.

That about covers it.

The worst time is when we’re at the least daylight, that’s December 21. But even longer days doesn’t mean you’re going to have your skin exposed outside in January at 10 below. Your skin needs to be exposed to the light.


If you are really in trouble, 988 is the hotline for help. We are here for you as well. If you need extra time to chat, just tell the front desk, and we’ll make time around the adjusting schedule.

Dr. Barrett


Vibrant Life Center

Oakdale – Edina

651-777-3611 952-835-0006

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