Winter Blues and ADHD

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The winter solstice – the shortest day of the year – is about a week away. Shorter days mean darker days. Where I live – not too far from Chicago – it has been getting dark at about 4:30 each day.

For a lot of us with Attention Deficit Disorder, the arrival of winter also means an increased chance for the winter blues or depression. It’s also called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Darker days and less sunlight can cause us to feel more down and depressed.

There are some things that you can do to make the winter blues more bearable. Here are a few ideas:

Get a special lamp made for sufferers of SAD. These special lamps offer a light similar to sunlight and regular use of them is supposed to help you feel better.

Get outside more. Rather than spending money for a special lamp, take advantage of the free light right outside your door. If you’re not a winter sports fan, you can still spend some time outdoors – park a little farther away, take a walk around the neighborhood or your backyard. Sunlight is not effective when it comes through glass but is effective even on a cloudy day.

Increase your vitamin D intake. A supplement in addition to your diet is a good idea. You can safely add 1000-5000 IU of vitamin D to your diet with no concerns.

Buy some early blooming spring bulbs and force them into early bloom. These types of bulbs are readily available this time of year and are easy to grow. Get your own little shot of springtime early!

Drink herbal teas. There are a lot of teas on the market that contain herbs to help with depression. I’m sure that Celestial Seasonings makes one; my favorite is Get Happy from the Republic of Tea.

Finally, don’t forget the basics – get enough sleep, eat good for you foods, and get some exercise.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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