Traditional Tips to Fight Off the Blues
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Published by TOP4 Team
Our grandparents faced the blues with a stiff upper lip and little discussion, but they did have some effective home remedies to rely on. The blues can often be treated successfully with these simple, natural techniques.
If your mother suggested a regimen of fresh air and sunshine to combat the blues, she was right. Exposure to natural sunlight has an elevating effect and can be used to combat seasonal depression during darker winter days. The therapy seems to work best when used every morning for about 30 minutes. If you’re still feeling a bit down, try some of these tips.
- Teas made from dried St. John’s wort, hops, valerian or liquorice (from health-food stores or pharmacies) help to stabilize mood.
- Use essential oils to ease the blues. Mix 2 drops each of rose and lemon balm oil and 3 drops of lavender oil and use in a fragrant oil burner.
- A scented sachet placed under the pillow may help you sleep better. Preferred scents include lavender, rose, chamomile, elder and hops.
- When is the last time, someone told you to eat a biscuit? Adding ½ teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon to the recipe might lift your spirits.
- Sip a glass of milk with fennel and honey half an hour before bedtime. Bring 2 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds and about 1 cup (250ml) of milk to the boil, let it steep briefly, strain and sweeten with honey
- Light and colour can have an impact on mood: a bright, friendly environment in warm colours, such as yellow, red or orange, can lift your spirits.
- There is increasing evidence that fish oil, which contains a type of fatty acid called EPA, can help to chase the blues away, especially when it is combined with pharmaceutical antidepressants.
- Cut back on fizzy drinks and soft drinks that contain caffeine. Some research links caffeine, which suppresses serotonin production, to depression.
- Go away for a few days. A break from routine and discovering somewhere new will give you a boost.
Quick tip: Use lavender oil to ease the blues.
GOOD TO KNOW: From the time of the ancient Greeks through to the Middle Ages, this plant was believed to have almost magical powers for healing. Modern research backs up that claims, and short-term studies suggest it can be as effective as some antidepressants for treating mild depressions. Keep in mind, however, that the hypericin contained in St. John’s wort releases its anti-depressive effect only after regular usage over an extended period. Take it at the same time every day. As well as tea, St. John’s wort is available as tablets, capsules or tincture. Talk to a pharmacist about this. (Note: St. John’s wort can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.)
Depression can become serious and start to affect your way of life. See a doctor if depression persists or becomes more extreme. A doctor can check for medical cause and advice about treatment.