There Is A Way to Beat Seasonal Depression. And It’s Not What You Think.

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There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it’s not what you think. Keep reading to learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy lifestyle tips.

Seasonal depression. There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it's not what you think. Learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy tips. #depression #seasonaldepression #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #healthyliving #naturalalternatives

Winter can be dreary. It’s only just fall and it’s already getting dark sooner. The leaves are starting to change colors and the sky seems to be gray a bit more often. (Although it’s possible part of that is due to the insane amount of rain we’ve had lately.) As the weather cools off we also find ourselves stuck indoors more than we’d like. This in turn can lead to those dreaded winter blues.

This year I’m determined to keep my spirits up and skirt seasonal depression all together. I’d like to say I’m going to be one of those ridiculously happy people who’s always positive and never stops smiling – but that will seriously never happen.

Resting bitch face aside, I tend to get emotionally involved in most things I do. I scream, cry and clap at television shows. I get that weird bizarro paranoia that something is wrong or I’m gonna screw up somehow when my monthly cycle hits. And the current state of our political circus leaves me terrified even when I avoid the news and filter my social news feed to hide the drama.

With over forty winters under my belt I’m no stranger to seasonal depression. Managing fibro on top of that is no easy feat. So I completely understand the challenges you face when you get those winter blues. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill you can swallow to send your seasonal depression packing. Nutritionally, however, there are options that can help improve your symptoms as well as potentially prevent the occurence of seasonal depression all together. There are also actions you can take to get your head back in the game and off those dismal sidelines that trap you in an unhealthy emotional cycle.

Seasonal depression. There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it's not what you think. Learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy lifestyle tips. #depression #seasonaldepression #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #healthyliving #naturalalternatives

What Is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal depression, also now called seasonal affective disorder or SAD for short, can strike at any time of the year – not just fall and winter. While most common during the fall and winter months, the symptoms of seasonal depression are much the same regardless of when it occurs. Symptoms include feelings of depression, trouble sleeping, low energy or fatigue, changes in weight or appetite, difficulty concentrating, agitation or anxiety and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.

What Causes Seasonal Depression?

There is no clear cause for seasonal depression. However, it is widely believed that there are three main factors that can lead to seasonal depression. This includes changes in your biological clock caused by a decrease in sunlight. The reduced levels of sunlight during both fall and winter are then believed to result in a drop in serotonin levels in the brain. It can also cause changes in melatonin levels. This can disrupt sleep cycles and affect mood.

Seasonal depression. There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it's not what you think. Learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy lifestyle tips. #depression #seasonaldepression #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #healthyliving #naturalalternatives

How Can I Reduce My Chances of Developing Seasonal Depression?

Much of modern Western medicine seems to focus on treating the symptoms of depression rather than the cause. (A sad result of big pharma.) This in turn leads to an endless cycle, riddled with side effects, and no real recovery. (Much like my struggle to find natural treatment options for fibromyalgia.) The good news is, you don’t have to take anti-depression drugs, such as SSRI’s which increase levels of serotonin in the brain, to manage your seasonal depression. In fact, it’s possible you can prevent your seasonal depression completely by taking steps to improve your gut health.

Rectifying my own gut health has been paramount in both my physical and emotional recovery. I spent a good part of my adult life struggling with depression. Now that I no longer struggle with depression like I used to, I am completely sold on treating health issues through nutrition as a first step.

The Gut-Brain Axis

It’s widely believed that the gut-brain axis has an impact on both our emotional health and physical health. Not only does the gut-brain axis help regulate our bodies, it also maintains homeostasis through the biochemical signaling that takes place between our gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system. Additionally, the gut-brain axis also refers to the role that our gut flora plays in our bodies. This interplay is referred to the “microbiome–gut–brain axis” which explicitly includes the role of gut flora in the biochemical signaling events that take place between our gastrointestinal tract and our central nervous system. (Source.)

A diet that primarily consists of high fat/low fiber foods decreases the gut microbiome diversity in our bodies, disrupting the gut-brain axis. When this happens, our bodies become more vulnerable to physical illnesses. Recent studies have also indicated that poor gut health affects our emotional health as well. Therefore, not only does poor gut health cause depression, it can also lead to worsening depression. By eating a healthy diet that supports gut health, you can also help support your emotional well being.

Seasonal depression. There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it's not what you think. Learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy tips. #depression #seasonaldepression #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #healthyliving #naturalalternatives

How Probiotics Can Help

Probiotics offer an easy way to help improve and restore gut flora in our bodies and thus improve our gut health. These live microorganisms help to improve diversity and increase healthy gut bacteria. Probiotics are naturally found in fermented foods such as apple cider vinegar (with the mother) and kombucha. However, you can also purchase probiotics as an easy to take nutritional supplement in pill form.

Recent medical studies have offered compelling evidence that probiotics can also help alleviate depression. (Source.) Therefore, I highly recommend consuming probiotics to help prevent seasonal depression or to help improve symptoms.

When purchasing probiotics it’s important to buy probiotics that will survive the trip from your gut to the intestinal tract. So be sure to research any brands you’d like to try before making a purchase.

I personally recommend Love Bug Here’s The Skinny Daily Probiotics as they contain not only probiotics, but also prebiotics. Prebiotics are a natural fiber that feeds probiotics. Here’s The Skinny Daily Probiotics contain eight targeted strains of beneficial probiotics to help aid in digestion, reboot your metabolism, and elevate energy levels and mood. In addition, this product also combats unwanted digestive issues like bloating, constipation and leaky gut by rebalancing your microbiome with beneficial bacteria. Each tablet has 10 billion CFU and uses a patented time-release delivery technology, which protects the probiotics from stomach acid and releases them gradually, making them 15 times more effective than standard capsules.

You can save on your monthly purchase of Lovebug Here’s The Skinny Daily Probiotics by purchasing them from, one of my favorite online shops, Grove Collaborative.

What Are Other Ways I Tackle Seasonal Depression?

In addition to supplementing your diet with probiotics, there are also other natural ways that you can help prevent or improve your seasonal depression.

Adaptogens

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of buzz about adaptogens lately. Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, ginseng, mushrooms, milk thistle, gotu kola and holy basil are believed to support overall health and wellness. They work as non-specific remedies that increase our bodies resistance to a broad spectrum of harmful factors of different physical, chemical and biological natures. They are also believed to help our bodies adapt and respond better to stress.  By incorporating adaptogens into your daily diet you can further support your emotional health.

Adding a vitamin B complex along with ginseng to your daily supplements is a simple way to help boost energy to overcome fatigue and exhaustion caused by seasonal depression.

CBD oil is another example of an adaptogen. It has been shown to help support our mood, sleep, appetite and hormone regulation. In addition it can also reduce pain and boost immune response. Further studies have also indicated that CBD oil, in addition to helping with depression, also has numerous other medical indications including anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, cancer and chronic pain. My own personal experience with CBD oil is that it has greatly improved not just my fibromyalgia pain, but it has decreased my anxiety and improved my mood as well.

Exercise & Activity

Getting up and just doing something can be a challenge if you’re already depressed. However, by staying active prior to and during fall and winter, you can help prevent seasonal depression from taking hold. Studies have shown that by simply walking ten minutes a day outdoors, you can boost the levels of serotonin in your brain moreso than if you were taking SSRI medication. While staying active does require a small commitment of your time, it will not only improve your mood but your physical health as well.

Seasonal depression. There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it's not what you think. Learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy tips. #depression #seasonaldepression #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #healthyliving #naturalalternatives

Get Creative

There are scores of studies that have shown that art has the power to heal. Not only is art a great way to express yourself – and a lot of fun! – it’s another natural alternative to big pharma medications. A powerful therapeutic tool, art and other creative activities have the ability to ease stress, anxiety and depression. Additionally, it can also aid with communication challenges and help stop cognitive decline.

What’s so great about creativity, is that you don’t need to possess a natural talent in order to express yourself through the things you create. Anyone can draw, paint or knit. And it’s a lot cheaper than therapy. So put together that photo album you’ve been putting off. Color a mandala or create a paper mobile. Anything that allows you to relax and have fun.

If you’re not sure where to start or the type of projects you’d like to do, give a DIY craft kit a try. Alternately, websites like Creativebug, offer many wonderful arts and crafts classes that you can access online from the comfort of your home. And, of course, you can also find a ton of great DIY ideas right here on Soap Deli News blog. From homemade soap recipes and bath and beauty DIY’s to DIY craft projects, a simple search will turn up years worth of inspirational projects and ideas.

Seasonal depression. There is a way to beat seasonal depression. And it's not what you think. Learn natural ways to relieve symptoms of seasonal depression as well as how to possibly prevent seasonal depression completely with these healthy tips. #depression #seasonaldepression #mentalhealth #emotionalhealth #healthyliving #naturalalternatives

As I create things for a living, one of my favorite ways to feel like I’m not working is to engage in group classes and projects with friends. Crafting with friends or in a class setting allows me the opportunity to make mistakes and just have fun. I also find that socializing is immensely helpful. So host a DIY nail polish night or a pumpkin painting party at your home. Or take a class at your local community center or art center. I guarantee you will feel better for having done so!

Have you ever suffered from seasonal depression? I’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share natural remedies or activities that helped you beat your seasonal depression in the comments below.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’ and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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You Are Not A Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Let’s face it. Life is hard. And none of us are without our own set of struggles. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you’ve failed. You are NOT a failure. Keep reading for my story on struggling with life’s challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

You Are NOT A Failure. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

You are not a failure.

What you may see as failures or set backs in your life aren’t failures. They are a part of your journey. They are a learning experience. They are not failures. You are not a failure.

In light of the recent suicides by Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I wanted to take a break from the usual DIY’s and share some of my life experiences with you. While it’s hard to admit, I’ve often felt like I’ve failed at my life. And I know that many of you have, at some point, also felt like you’ve failed. You are not a failure. And, you are not alone.

Struggling with my setbacks.

Recently I had a marriage fall apart after just six short months. I moved for the sixth time in three years. My blog, which I quit my day job for in February 2017 has failed to grow as quickly as I’d hoped as I struggle to find my footing. I haven’t found the time amidst struggling with the fibromyalgia to even start writing my book.

I feel like I’m drowning in debt. I’ve spent extra money getting started full time on my blog. I made large furniture purchases when I got married – furniture which is now in storage. And I spent more money still when I moved out and had to start over. Money I didn’t have.

On top of all that, I’ve also kind of always felt like a black sheep in my family. I’ve often felt that I wasn’t good enough. I’ve thought that no matter what accomplishments I did make, they were never enough. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Luckily I am now well seasoned emotionally when it comes to starting over. I know it can be done. And I’ve learned so so much along the way.

Learning to heal and 10 tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

Learning how to heal.

I’ve been seeing holistic therapist for about six months. (The same amount of time I’ve been legally separated from my husband.) It’s been extremely revealing and I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned that no one person can save the world. Sometimes  you have to let people in your life go so you can heal yourself first.

I’ve learned how to break those patterns that lead to unhealthy and emotionally destructive relationships.

I’ve learned that success has nothing to do with money or careers. Rather it has everything to do with friendships and happiness.

I’ve learned that opening myself up to the world and all it’s possibilities can help you heal.

I’ve learned – and though there are still days I struggle – that I am not a failure. And neither are you.

You have no idea how much it means to me when I receive random messages from you, my readers. How it keeps me going. How you inspire me to never give up on my dreams. How you push me to try to make that connection and keep giving back. You are the reason I work to share more of myself and my creativity in tandem through my blog – and my life.

When I was a child I always juggled between the hope of three careers – an artist, a teacher and a writer. Soap Deli News has given me the opportunity to be all three of those things. And with that I’ve found that success, for me, also comes in being able to inspire others.

Therefore I encourage you to look at your life. Really look at it. And transition back to those simple things that make your heart feel full. Then, you too, will see for yourself, that no matter what, you are NOT a failure.

Tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

Ten tips for getting your mojo back.

#1. If it’s not work related, toss out everyone else’s expectations of you. Your life is what you want it to be, not what others think it should be.

#2. Cut out toxic and unhealthy relationships in your life. Friends and significant others should be there to lift you up, not tear you down. (My therapist recommended the book, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life, which you may find helpful depending on your situation.)

#3. Repeat a positive mantra in your head. If you feel down, repeat to yourself “I am not a failure.” “I’m a beautiful person.” “I am worthy.” Whatever is the opposite of how you feel. Over time it will start to sink you – kind of like hypnosis – and you’ll believe it.

#4. It’s okay to be angry. Find a healthy way to let it out rather then keeping it bottled up.

One of the local artist I know gathers her friends and they all smash thrift store dishes against a brick wall to release pent up emotions. (Just remember you will need to clean up afterwards.)

#5. It’s ok to feel sad. Like anger, you don’t want to keep that sadness bottled up either. Let it out.

I personally struggle with bottling up my emotions. Therefore I complete what I call my “emotionally cleansing” when everything seems like it’s too much to handle. I sit in the shower and cry until there aren’t any tears left. Then, when it’s over, I feel better. Like I’ve washed all that negative energy, depression and frustration down the drain with the water.

#6. Take supplements. Magnesium and ashwagandha root are both great natural supplements that can help you better cope with stress.

As I’m over 40 and going through perimenopause, ashwagandha not only aids with healthy stress response, it also helps to stabilize my hormones, stop hot flashes and minimizes overly emotional responses due to my body’s hormonal changes.

Tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

#7. Go for a walk. If you can get out of the city and into nature to do so, all the better. Studies have shown that something as simple as a walk raises serotonin levels more than SSRI class drugs meant to treat anxiety and depression.

#8. “It could always be worse.” This is the phrase that pushed me through when I was in so much physical pain from the fibro, I ended up in the ER in tears.

Sometimes you have to change your perspective to realize that as tough as your life is, someone always has it worse. This is not to downplay your feelings or situation, of course. Rather realizing that it really could be worse can help you grasp that you really can survive whatever life throws at you.

It’s also a great reminder that no matter how alone you feel in your personal struggles, you really aren’t alone.

#9. Connect. Reach out to your friends or family when things get tough. Don’t worry that you’re going to be a burden. You’re not. Your inner circle is there because they love you. And that means they are there for you when you need help – even if it’s just to listen.

#10. Seek help. If you still aren’t able to pull yourself out of your funk, you may want to consider seeking professional counseling. If you are uninsured, have an outrageous deductible or simply can’t afford counseling there is an alternative.

My holistic therapist is part of the Open Path Psychology Collective. Formed to offer affordable counseling for those who otherwise cannot afford it, this collective allows you to see any participating counselor within the network for just $30-$50 a session. You simply pay a one time fee of $49. You are then able to see anyone your choose within the network for the lowered rate for as long as you need. (In my case I pay half, or $50 per session.)

Because your membership never expires, you can stop, start or switch counselors at any time as your needs change. You can learn more about the Open Path Collective here as well as search for a therapist in your area.

Remember, you are not a failure. (And one more time.) You are not a failure. You are amazing.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.