|Photo credit: Luca Rossato|
The chaos and stress of the holiday season can take its toll on even the most chipper of people. This is the time of year that depression hits the hardest for some.
For those of you who can relate to the santa in the photo, this post is for you.
These 3 simple, natural remedies will help you survive the holidays with depression (and hopefully not end up like this santa at the end.)
1. Take Amino Acids as an Anti-Depressant
|Photo credit: Haileyxb|
Feeling tired, depressed, draggy, and foggy-headed (lack of mental clarity) can all be signs of a body that's deficient in amino acids. Low mood and aggression has been associated with low levels of the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine.
Amino acids -- like tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenyalanine, to name a few important ones -- can be used like anti-depressants. They've even been used effectively as an alternative to prescription antidepressants, according to Integrative Psychiatry. What's more is unlike prescription antidepressants, amino acids can begin working in a matter of days.
Tyrosine helps increase the production rate of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are produced by neurons in the brain.
Phenyalanine is required in order for the brain to release dopamine and norepinephrine.
Tryptophan makes serotonin, which promotes a sense of well-being. Tryptophan helps with the synthesization of serotonin (Niacin, magnesium, and vitamin B6 also play a role in this process).
According to Earl Mindell, author of Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible, recommends taking 500-2,000 milligrams of a combination of the amino acids phenyalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine at bedtime or in the morning. Mindell says to to take them with water or juice, not protein.
2. De-stress With Food
|Photo credit: Sarah R|
Yep, that's right. You can eat away your stress. Just make sure to chow down on healthy foods that boost serotonin and in turn, decrease your stress levels.
When the holiday season has your anxiety and stress levels through the roof, serotonin can help you relax and feel at ease.
Serotonin is also a natural tranquilizer, which means that too much of it can have, well, a tranquilizing, effect.
To get your stress levels down without compromising your alertness, aim for complex carbohydrates that aren't rich in protein. Cereal, pasta, and rice are examples of serotonin-boosting complex carbs that you can eat without needing to take a nap afterwards. Eggs and steak, on the other hand are examples of complex carbs that are rich in protein, so avoid these if you're going to be hosting a Christmas dinner party. Otherwise you may end up dozing off while the dressing is still in the oven!
3. Take Magnesium for Rapid Recovery
|Photo credit: Beth Scupham|
For example, a study published in the Medical Hypotheses found that when patients were treated with 125-300 mg of magnesium (as glycinate or taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime led to rapid recovery from major depression in less than 7 days for most of the patients.
Supplements containing magnesium glycinate and taurinate aren't easily found in your average multivitamin.You can find magnesium glycinate in certain bone-building supplements like the one below:
Bone Builder with Magnesium Glycinate 220 tablets from Ethical Nutrients - $24.07
Retail Price: $37.75
You Save: $13.68
Before you try to brave the holidays alone (and with depression), try these quick tips to help you not only survive the holidays while depressed, but maybe even enjoy them too! Wouldn't that be nice?
Before you go, let us know what helps you fight depression during the Holiday season?
Antidepressants, herbs, therapy? Something else?
Whatever it is, we all want to hear from folks who have been there, so please don't hesitate to chime in and share.
Eby GA, Eby KL: Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2006, 67 (2): 362-370. 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.01.047.