5 ways to deal with seasonal fatigue

Do you feel tired all the time. Well you are not alone. 50% of adults report feeling chronically tired. At least 20% of doctor visits are for relief from fatigue.

“Shorter days, darker skies, colder weather, poor sleep habits, and the stresses that come with the busy holidays and months at the end of the year can leave many people feeling fatigued and depressed at this time of year,” says Dr. Elin Ritchie, a specialist in family alternative medicine. Here are simple ways to fight seasonal fatigue:

1. Get as much (safe) sun exposure as possible.
Open drapes and blinds as soon as you get up to allow sunlight into your home. If you can, take a morning walk. Get as much time outdoors as your schedule and the weather permit. Sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D in your body and also benefits your mental health.

2. Stick to a reliable sleep schedule as much as possible. Go to bed and rise at the same time every day. And make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep – declutter, choose comfortable and comforting linens, and turn off the TV.

3. Eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables provide many healthful benefits and definitely belong in your diet.

4. Find ways to relax. The cooler seasons can be a very stressful time and stress can keep you awake at night. To combat natural levels of stress, find activities that relax you, whether it’s container gardening indoors, meditation or aromatherapy. Relieving stress can help improve sleep patterns.

5. Support your immune system, especially during cold and flu season. Fatigue can lead to illness. New studies show that sleep deprivation has detrimental effects on the immune system. Researchers believe that sleep should be considered a vital part of immune function, as it is clear that sleep and immunity are directly related.