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Overcoming Depression During The Holidays

CC Photo Courtesy of Lauren Walters via Flickr
CC Photo Courtesy of Lauren Walters via Flickr

Depression can occur at any time. Sometimes it is due to external circumstances, but sometimes it can be related to our health. With winter coming on—plus the holidays—this can be a time when many people experience symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of depression:
  1. A change in appetite or weight.
  2. Inability to sleep, disturbed or excessive  sleep.
  3. Restlessness or feeling “slowed down.”
  4. Extreme fatigue or lack of energy.
  5. Difficulty in concentrating or making  decisions.
  6. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness or pessimism.
  7. Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood; feeling blue.
  8. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex.
  9. Restlessness, irritability or excessive crying.
  10. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
  11. Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain.
  12. Dark circles under eyes.
How to help your body when you are feeling depressed:
  1. Keep hydrated. Be sure to drink half your weight in ounces in water, up to 100 ounces of pure water every day.
  2. Eat right for your blood type and combine it with a low-glycemic diet. Stay away from high-glycemic carbohydrates like red and white potatoes, white grains and other high-glycemic foods.
  3. Take probiotics daily. Probiotics clean off your serotonin receptor sites in your colon. Since you have more serotonin receptor sites in your colon than your brain, it is important to make sure you have good colon health when feeling depressed.
  4. Eat lots of good fats. This can boost your mood. Foods like nuts, fish from the ocean, avocados, olives, coconut oil and olive oil can be great choices. Walnuts are also a great choice. (When you look at a walnut, notice it actually looks like the brain.)
  5. B complex. Your B vitamins are very important when it comes to your nervous system, stress and anxiety.
  6. Vitamin D3. D3 is our sunshine vitamin. Some people find when the D3 is low, they feel depressed. So get some sunshine and take your D3. It is best to take D3 with good fats and green foods for best absorption.
  7. Feed the thyroid. Depression is noted and is sometimes the first symptom diagnosed in 40 percent of hypothyroid patients. Feed your body foods high in iodine like kelp, Irish moss plant and dulse. Sea vegetables are high in iodine. You may want to read my earlier article on the thyroid.
  8. Exercise boosts serotonin levels, so get out and take a walk in a mall or safe neighborhood.
  9. Support your adrenal glands.The adrenal glands are your fight/flight gland and can be easily depleted in times of stress. Supporting your adrenals with your B vitamins and vitamin C, liquid chelated minerals and a quality adrenal glandular during times of stress can not only boost your energy, but also help your body deal with the depression.
  10. Dark organic chocolate can boost serotonin levels. So enjoy a chocolate break with some dark organic chocolate to help boost your mood.
  11. Support the liver. The liver is said to be the seat of the emotions. Building the liver during times of depression can help boost the mood as well.
  12. Bach Flowers work on the emotional level. They are traditionally used to help with emotional issues that promote depression. As a Bach Flower therapist, I’ve found that my clients report to me how much they find their mood enhanced when taking the right flowers for their emotional needs. 
Consider the following if you are not on an antidepressant:
  1. SAM-e is used in Europe for depression. When using SAM-e, it is important to use a quality brand.
  2. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood and sleep.
  3. St.-John’s-wort – Modern research suggests it can be helpful for mild-to-moderate depressed feelings coupled with anxious feelings, and it can be helpful for seasonal depression.
Take time to invest in your health this Christmas holiday season. If you are craving something sweet, consider a more natural desert. Look for healthy ideas on websites for raw foods and paleo desserts.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose and treat diseases. If you have any health problems, consult a health practitioner before embarking on any course of treatment.

About Tonja Wells, CNHP, NHC

Tonja Wells is a Certified Natural Health Professional through Trinity School of Natural Health and a Certified Herbal Health Consultant through Tree of Light Institute. Tonja has also travels throughout the United States, teaching Schools of Natural Health for the nation’s largest herb company. She has been working as an herbalist since 1994 years and offices in North Richland Hills. She began working with herbs to overcome the major health issue of Fibromyalgia. After regaining her own health she began her educational journey in herbal health and nutrition and now works full time as an herbalist designing herbal health and nutritional programs for her clients.
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