With leaves falling and the temperature dropping, autumn is settling in. As nature shifts, our moods can shift, too. Seasonal mood shifts might include having less energy, feeling less social, losing interest in hobbies and changes in sleep patterns.
A big factor in seasonal mood swings is light. Scientific evidence shows that the main seasonal variable that affects mood is the length of day, which is shortest in the winter and longest in the summer.
The circadian clock, your body's internal timekeeper, monitors changes in day length. The circadian clock also plays a role in hormone release, temperature regulation, metabolism and mood. When there's less light during the day (such as in the fall and winter), some of the processes affected by the circadian clock easily become disrupted.
To stay centered through the change of seasons, try these natural and herbal solutions for seasonal mood shifts.
Natural Solutions for Seasonal Mood Shifts
Hello sunshine. Take time for the sun even if it's only ten minutes outside every day. Sunlight boosts the body's Vitamin D supply. Vitamin D contributes to healthy functioning of the body, including the immune system*. Sunlight also helps melatonin production occur, which helps people sleep more soundly.
Bust a move. Feel great after that dance or yoga class? There's a reason. Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease stress. Exercise can also increase the production of endorphins, which helps produce positive feelings.
Surround yourself with the people you love. Simply being around someone you love can help relieve stress and improve your well-being. Even science agrees.
Herbs for Seasonal Mood Shifts
If you feel down as the weather's getting cooler and the days are getting shorter, you may also benefit from adding herbal supplements to your daily routine. Here are some of our favorites to help lift your spirits and reclaim your positive outlook.
Maintaining a healthy emotional state is key to an optimal quality of life. Emotional Balance™ is designed to support mental and emotional well-being.* By combining herbal extracts that have been traditionally used to help the body cope with daily stress, nourish the nervous system, calm the mind and support a balanced mood, this formula helps foster a better outlook on life.*
St. John's Wort
Research has shown that St. John's Wort extract may support positive emotional health.* Each daily serving of Gaia Herbs St. John's Wort delivers 1,350 mg of concentrated extract, with 2.7 mg of Hypericins the same dose in published research that provides nervous system support to promote a healthy mood.*
Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi or the incomparable one, translates to balance, which is symbolic of its most common modern use. Holy Basil helps you respond to stress in a healthy way, while nourishing the mind and elevating the spirit.* As an adaptogenic herb, Holy Basil also supports adrenal health and a state of equilibrium in the body.*
Herbs for Adrenal Health
Optimizing adrenal gland function is essential to combating stress and living a more balanced life. The adrenal glands influence the body's stress response, immune health, sleep patterns and mood. Because the adrenal glands are vital to well-being, we like to refer to them as the unsung heroes of the endocrine system.
Adrenal Health Daily Support, which includes Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra and Oats, is a synergistic formula featuring herbs that support the adrenals and balance the body during times of stress.*
Embrace the Change of Seasons
Each season brings its own lessons. As the leaves fall, we're reminded to shed what we no longer need. The winter winds turn us inward. Spring's blossoming can awaken us from the dark of winter. Summer's sunshine springs us into action.
Nature really is our greatest teacher and shows us how to adapt to constant change. By embracing this seasonal metamorphosis, we can stay centered and grounded. And remember to be kind to yourself during the change of seasons as in the immortal words of Lao Tzu, Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.