Combating Seasonal Depression with Ayurveda

Combating Seasonal Depression with Ayurveda

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Seasonal Depression

Seasonal affective disorder (abbreviated as SAD ) is a kind of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — Seasonal depression (SAD) begins and ends at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with this kind of depression, then your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

How Do You Know You Have Seasonal Depression?

If you’re feeling these symptoms all of a sudden, it’s most probably due to of your seasonal depression.

  • Feeling lethargic (lazy and lacking in energy)
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of despair and heaviness
  • Guilt and worthlessness
  • A loss of interest in normal everyday activities
  • Sleepy most of the time
  • Loneliness

How Long Does Seasonal Depression Last for?

Seasonal depression can last from 4 to 5 months per year. Most people can also recover within weeks if they get their required treatments.

In the United States, most people experience seasonal depression in the months of January and February so these months are regarded as the most difficult for them. Moreover, it is less common but some people are also said to experience (SAD) in the summer. Between 2 and 10 percent of people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter.

Ayurveda for Seasonal Depression

There is an effective way in which you can treat your seasonal depression. And it is Ayurveda.

Ayurveda greatly helps in fighting off depression. It helps in relieving sleep deprivation, improves moods, and inspires life.

Here’s how you can combat seasonal depression with Ayurveda

Diet and Dosha Balancing

  • Consume warming and spicy soups. Try my vegan lentil soup it’s warming, heavy, and extremely flavorful. Add ghee or coconut oil to your liking. Learn how to make Dukkah Spice Add this blend in your soups for extra flavor and bone-strengthening properties.
  • Drink warming spiced teas made with ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you are signed up for my Ayurvedic Cooking Class you will learn some secret spice blends and tea recipes.
  • Use Vata balancing foods like ghee, warming spices, grains, and natural sweets (jaggery).
  • Tickle your taste buds with sweet, sour, and salt tastes. An ideal meal will be khichari with ghee and a small amount of pickle.
  • Always use warm water for all daily routine activities, washing the face, feet, shower, and even for drinking water.
  • If you are Vata dominant then reduce intake of dry, light, cold, and raw food as well as foods with excessively bitter pungent and astringent foods. E.g. leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, popcorn, and crackers. They can increase digestive disturbances. Or, add Asafoetida when preparing crucifers vegetables.
  • In order to maintain a healthy digestive system, switch to probiotics that are non-dairy. Coconut, cashew, and almond yogurts are available. However, take them during lunch and stir well before consumption.

Don’t know what your Dosha is yet? Take the Quiz


Speak with your Herbalist, ND, or MD before changing, adding, or removing any medication, supplements, or herbs. Current blood work is always helpful to determine what your body may require.

  • Herbs such as help to balance Vata such as cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, and cloves.
  • Chyawanprash is a great herbal jam to take over this season.
  • For irregularities’ in the bowel add Triphala as tea or capsule.
  • Add herbs such as ashwagandha for stress, sleep, and strength. This herb is mostly suitable for men. Females can take for a short period of time or mix with other herbs.
  • You must speak with your doctor to take Vitamin D3 regularly. Ask your doctor for recommended daily dosage.

Daily Routine

  • Utmost important to comply to during the month of winter to combat depression, lethargy and lack of motivation is a full-body warm oil massage. It uplift drains laziness and strengthen the bones. For Vata dosha warm sesame seed oil is ideal. Keep for an hour or so and then shower.
  • For extreme sleep disturbances that lead to depression, avoid eating late at night, ensure fatty foods are added to the diet, and rub magnesium ointments under your feet before going to bed.
  • Use thick blankets and sheets made of cotton, silk, or wool.
  • Wear cotton or wool socks to keep your feet warm.
  • Spend your leisure time with friends and relatives whom you like.

Yoga, Exercise and Meditation

  • Vata needs mental grounding so engage with breathing exercises and meditation as a regular practice morning and evening
  • Brisk cardio, warm yoga, weights, and rigorous physical activity that promote sweating is the best way to beat the winter blues.
  • Brisk pranayama and the daily practice of meditation promote inner calm and help you manage stressful family reunions and social anxiety.

These are some of the best ways you can use Ayurveda to treat seasonal depression. If you want a professional consultation, it’s good news that my counseling services are online. Book a consultation with me from here.


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