The holidays are over and a new year begins…but before we get to enjoy the beauty of spring, we must endure the winter. 

The cold, bleak days with early nightfall (at least here in Indiana) can be difficult to endure and heavy on the soul. You might feel extra tired despite getting a good night's sleep–or you may just want to sleep all the time. Your appetite may be out of control, especially with sweets and goodies available around the holidays. Thinking and concentrating can take more effort, and decision making can seem impossible. These are all symptoms of something called seasonal affective disorder. 

Sunshine (and light) actually has a biological effect on our bodies. Exposure increases the amount of serotonin that is released from our brain. Serotonin is an important hormone that decreases anxiety and helps you feel calm and focused. 

Let me share with you some “hacks” for dealing with seasonal depression. 

First, go to a state that has more sunshine.

I’m just kidding. 

I love Indiana, and it is my home.  But the gray days can be difficult.

I have some ideas to share with you that may help ease the winter blues. 

Instead of moving to Florida, I’ve brought the light to Indiana. Ultraviolet light. It is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is present in sunlight. At DTE, our ozone IVs are ALWAYS run through an ultraviolet light before your blood is infused back in. Not only do you get all the benefits of the ozone (see our website for more videos/information), but with every infusion your blood is exposed to “sunshine.” A clinical review of seven research studies published in 2018 showed positive results on mood, depressive symptoms and overall well-being in six out of the seven studies. 

If you google “beating seasonal depression,” you will find the typical answers like “Join a gym!” or “Take vitamin D!” I think those are great things to do (I get my monthly vitamin D injection and will be working personally this year to increase my activity level), but many of us have tried these tips without success. Maybe you think to yourself, “Join a gym?! Are you kidding me? I don’t even have the motivation to go to the grocery store!” 

Most problems require multiple interventions. In my opinion, “stacking them” is the fastest way to resolution. But sometimes it seems impossible to start. Motivation is the key in most situations. You have to have the energy to do the “obvious.” If you find that your motivation is down this winter or joining the gym seems unrealistic, then give a series of ozone/uv infusions a try. You may find it gives you the boost you're looking for!

Bistra I. Veleva, Rutger L. van Bezooijen, Victor G. M. Chel, Mattijs E. Numans, Monique A. A. Caljouw. “Effect of ultraviolet light on mood, depressive disorders and well-being”. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, 01 June 2018, 288-297.

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