Dr. Wendy Leigh White's Blog

Is the Darkness Affecting Your Mood?

Is the Darkness Affecting Your Mood?

Does the winter holiday season leave you withdrawn instead of full of joy and mirth?

The darkness of our shortened days could be affecting your mood.

Our ancient DNA guides us to slow down through the winter. We are meant to turn inward; a more reflective mood this time of year is part of our natural healing cycle. However, there is a fine line that exists between a mellow, reflective, introverted mood and depression.  (If you wonder which side of the line you’re on, please, have a heart-to-heart with your naturopath or trusted therapist.)

Support Your Body and Brighten Your Mood

If you’re feeling withdrawn, or having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit, allow yourself more time to be quiet and reflective of your life and all your blessings, and be mindful of supporting your health.
Try one or more of these techniques to support your mood:
  • Create and maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Your body will expect sleep when you start the routine.
  • Sleep in a dark, cool room.
  • Regulate your blood sugar to minimize energy spikes and emotional crashes. If you need to eat before bed, make it a small protein snack, not a large meal.
  • Nurture meaningful relationships. If you aren’t interested in large crowds, see good friends one-on-one.
  • Limit caffeine at least five hours before bed or eliminate it all together.
  • Cut your alcohol intake. A glass of wine may help you fall asleep, but will interfere with the restfulness of the second half of the night.
  • Exercise in the morning or early afternoon. Even if you feel like you sleep better by exercising at night, you could be disrupting your natural daily cortisol rhythm.
  • Move your body, throughout the day, everyday: stand, walk, move, stretch…
  • Expose yourself to light early in the day and/ or at noon, either natural sunlight or bright light therapy.
  • If needed, explore supplementation with zinc, vitamin D, and/ or melatonin with your naturopathic doctor.

Using What Works

You don’t have to use all of these techniques, and certainly not of them all at once. Some suggestions will work better for you than others. Choose what resonates with you, practice for a week or so. Keep that practice up and add another to your routine. If you don’t seem to notice a slump in the winter, lucky you! You can still use these techniques to support your body through the winter season and feel even better.
Have a blessed winter!

Regain Your Health with Dr. White

Dr. Wendy Leigh White, Naturopath

Dr. White became a naturopathic doctor because she truly believes in the body’s ability to heal itself and to keep itself in balance.In her original career as a Product Development Scientist for an international food company, she realized that she was more interested in educating people about their bodies than she was in making processed food.

She received her naturopathic doctorate from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Wendy Leigh H. White, ND, was the founder of Natural Family Health, LLC. Specializing in natural family health care, assisting and supporting families with everyday health issues, Dr. White provides guidance to men, women, and children in allowing their bodies to heal themselves, as they are designed to do. Her practice is located Portland Natural Medicine, 512 SE Morrison St.,Portland OR 97214 and can be reached at 503.239.1022.