If you’re anything like me, then you can’t help but to get the winter blues living in Northern Michigan.

Are there natural ways to defeat this type of depression? The colder, darker months of winter have arrived yet here are some winter depression tips and ideas to help you defeat depression. You may think you know these, but do me a favor and read them anyway.

  • Get plenty of rest. Our schedules are often blamed for not getting enough hours of sleep. Try to make sure that you are sleeping enough (it’s when your body heals). AND, that your sleep is restful. You shouldn’t wake up tired. If you are waking up between 1-3am then your body is trying to tell you something. Specifically, your liver is telling you something. In Chinese Medicine your qi (chi) or energy is thought to move in 2-hour intervals throughout the organ systems. One of the most important 2-hour intervals is between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., which is when the liver is cleansing the blood. I find this liver signal all the time in patients and after we clean up the liver (it is a big filter after all), not only do patients find their health has improved BUT they start sleeping through the night again! There are multiple simple ways to do this and it’s a great idea for everyone to try and do at least once a year. If you would like help with this then read more about Natural Functional Medicine HERE.

  • Eat good food. Fill up with veggies, protein, and good fats and stop eating sugar already. There are amazing natural sweeteners that are in every grocery store now! My favorite is Monkfruit which tastes just like granulated sugar but has no after taste and does not spike insulin. Use it 1 for 1 to cane sugar. For baking, I prefer to use coconut sugar (low glycemic index). Sugar is inflammatory and just worsens the blues. Good fat and protein are especially important for better body function in winter. Coconut oil, olive oil, fish oils, flax, avocado, butter, eggs, raw nuts, grass fed beef, organic chicken, wild caught fish… will all make your brain work better, help you stay warmer and help with dry winter skin.

  • Get the right nutrition for your body. By supplying the correct nutrition to make the body work better, the stress will affect you less. So this means ensuring that you have a good mineral supplement (I guarantee you you are mineral deficient) because minerals are needed to absorb vitamins. Next, you need all of the vitamins. The second best way to obtain all the vitamins you need other than through food is through Standard Process whole-food supplements. We sell them all and would be happy to direct you as to which would be best for your age, stage and season in life.

  • Reduce your stress. Many people blame stress for their sadness, low energy, and irritability. The truth is stress is all around us and affects our bodies on a daily basis. It depletes us of stores of vitamins and minerals and puts us at risk for health problems. Reducing what stress you have can be helpful. What you can’t reduce, you process. A great way to process stress is thru meditation. This could be silent, guided or with SOUND BOWLS. We are having a Sound Bath Meditation experience at Yen Yoga on Feb. 17th. More details HERE.

  • Get checked (at Big Beautiful Life) for Vitamin D. Adequate stores of Vitamin D in your body is a health insurance policy. Being low in Vitamin D puts you at risk for bone diseases and fractures, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, tooth and gum problems, decreased immunity, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. In the Winter with less exposure to the sun our Vitamin D levels naturally drop and depression symptoms can increase because of this.

The symptoms of depression and anxiety and fatigue that many people feel during the winter are real. They indicate that something is not going well with some areas of the body. They are a cue that your body needs something and that something is not a prescription. You are not deficient in antidepressants. Nature first. Drugs last. That’s my motto.

Yours In Health,

Dr. Jena