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1457: Five Ways To Reduce Seasonal Depression | Mind Pump

Key Takeaways

  • Approximately 20% of Americans feel some degree of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Earlier sunsets negatively impact sleep schedules, which in turn affects natural levels of melatonin change, having downstream impacts on serotonin
  • Five ways to tackle seasonal depression: (1) get as much sun exposure as you can while outside (2) exercise (3) stick to a schedule; (4) supplement with vitamin D (5) examine your diet
  • Move daily! Movement itself will make you want to move more – start with a short walk and work your way up

Introduction

The Mind Pump hosts are Sal Di Stefano (IG: @mindpumpsal), Adam Schafer (IG: @mindpumpadam) and Justin Andrews (IG: @mindpumpjustin).

Hosts Sal, Adam & Justin discuss why seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects so many people and detail five ways to combat seasonal depression.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

  • About 20% of Americans feel some degree of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Many factors contribute to SAD: holidays, rhythms of sun & darkness, presence or loss of loved ones
  • Symptoms: mild depression, loss of motivation, apathy
  • Women and younger children are more likely to feel the effects of SAD
  • Prevailing theory: earlier sunsets negatively impacts sleep schedules, which impacts natural levels of melatonin change, having downstream impacts on serotonin
  • Melatonin and serotonin affect mood, happiness, and stress

Five Ways To Tackle Seasonal Depression

  • (1) Sunlight therapy: get as much sun as possible while the sun is out
  • (2) Exercise: exercise alone has been shown as effective as medication in mild to moderate forms of all depression
  • The key with exercise for mental health is to start small and build up – start with a short walk, next try to take more than one short walk, then longer walk, and then add in weights, etc.
  • The movement itself will make you want to move more as reinforcing neurochemicals and hormones are released
  • Attach movement to something you do daily: example, walk 10 minutes after every meal
  • (3) Stick to a schedule: try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends
  • Don’t snooze! Wake-up the first time your alarm goes off
  • Schedule rules around meals: for example, don’t eat past 7 pm
  • (4) Supplement with vitamin D: vitamin D supplementation is helpful if you don’t have much sunlight and beneficial for the immune system
  • Vitamin D is a critical nutrient, it’s a hormone, not just a vitamin
  • About 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient
  • Low vitamin D contributes to low testosterone, depression, and compromises the immune system
  • (5) Look at your diet: holidays tend to derail healthy habits; processed food consumption increases  
  • Supplement suggestions: omega-3, cod liver oil, vitamin D
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Notes By Maryann

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