Home LifestyleHealthAcupuncture Sara Says: Seasonal Depression {Doesn’t Have to be a Bummer!}

Sara Says: Seasonal Depression {Doesn’t Have to be a Bummer!}

by Sara
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Sunday, November 1st marked the end of Daylight Savings time and the beginning of darkness before dinner. The leaves are changing colors and have begun falling, the air has turned crisp, and soon all coffee shops will be offering eggnog lattes. Even though this time of year offers so much beauty, it can also be an emotionally difficult time for some. Seasonal Affective Disorder {aka SAD} can begin as early as September and last through March. Researchers are not exactly sure why some struggle with SAD but, believe there is a link due to the lack of sunlight during the fall and winter months which disrupts the body’s internal clock, leading to signs of depression. Sure, the beauty and the feel of the sun makes me chipper, so it all sounds logical enough. However, being an acupuncturist, I never assume every single case is exactly like the next. Professionally, I believe there is a bit more to it…


Fall Path hoboken girl


Seasonal Depression can start as early as September and last thru March


Overworked? Be Good to Yourself {Take Time Out}

Let’s start with the obvious; we are entering into the Holiday Season and coming closer to the end of the year. Guarantee your daily schedules are busier than they were a couple months ago. Perhaps you are still fixated on making your fiscal year end goals? The inevitable year-end grind is always stressful and the busiest time of the year, which also means, it is also the most taxing time of the year for your body. Ever experience a tiny pulsing right above your belly button? Yes, what you are feeling is your aorta but, according to the style of acupuncture I practice (Kiiko Matsumoto “KM” Acupuncture), this is also the reflex for SAD. When presented, It is always my first priority to calm this pulsation in my patients. In addition to acupuncture, I always recommend that my patients take time out for themselves. What is most important to understand is, your body is pulsing for a reason. Imagine the pulse as a knock at door from an angry neighbor screaming at you to be quiet! Your body knows exactly what it needs. The pulse is a knock at the door, requesting a block of time on your very busy schedule, to unwind and be quiet.

Book a massage {or an acupuncture appointment}, take a hot bath with *essential oils, read that guilty pleasure book that has been staring you in the face since June. Remember, if your body feels overworked, it is only going to continue to send signals of unease. Don’t let the depression win this battle; start early by being good to yourself the moment you start feeling overwhelmed.


Spirit Lifting Oils from acupuncture atelier


^Clary Sage and Rosemary are “Spirit Lifting” oils. Rosemary works to directly strengthen the heart, it warms the Spirit and empowers the Mind. Clary Sage has the ability to steady and reassure the Mind.


Stop Hibernating!

Once the leaves start to fall, many people make like a bear and hibernate through the winter months. Deciding to stay at home, or losing the initiative to go out to do things, is quite common once Daylight Savings Time is over. When you start making the decision to stay in rather than go out to be amongst family and friends, you also start burning out the internal fire that keeps your spirit burning bright. So, stop hibernating and get out there and have fun! Whenever a patient comes to me struggling with depression, the one thing I consistently suggest to each of them, is to make the effort to go out and be amongst people. Stimulating your mind with conversation, and socializing with others is the best way to keep your spirit burning bright during the seasonal changes. Stay tuned in with our favorite blog’s local activities to keep your spirit burning bright all winter!


Keep Moving

Yoga is a great way to keep moving through the cold winter months!


Keep Things Moving…

Once the sun starts setting around 4:00pm, and your warm bed becomes too difficult to get out of in the morning, exercise and movement becomes difficult to keep up with as well. It is no secret that Hoboken is a running (and now a biking) community. However, since the temperature has started to dip, I have noticed a dip in the running population on the Hudson River sidewalks. Not that I blame any of them {you, perhaps!}, working out outside during the colder months just isn’t as enjoyable. Not to mention, as previously discussed, this is a busy time of year and sometimes our health simply takes a back seat. Lack of movement during this time of year can lead to what acupuncturists refer to as “Qi Stagnation” {pronounced Chee}. To keep this explanation simple, Qi Stagnation should be thought of as an imbalance or blockage within the body; excessive sighing, unnecessary yawning, even constipation can be due to some sort of Qi Stagnation. In relation to SAD, Qi Stagnation can manifest as sadness/grief, irritability, lethargy, or simply a lack of motivation. So, despite the weather and chaos of your schedule, keep moving! Perhaps take up yoga or a Zumba class during the winter months? Your body, mind and spirit will thank you come spring!


What are some of your tips for keeping sane throughout the dark winter months?

To ask Sara a question, email sara@acupunctureatelier.com!


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