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Taking Care Of Your Family’s Mental Health This Winter

We all want to take care of our families throughout every season of the year and that includes physical health, emotional health and of course, protecting their mental health. When the bright, warm days of summer end, autumn filters slowly through the air and eventually winter brings upon us her icy chill, winter depression sometimes takes hold of us and those we love.

Also called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter depression may affect some of our family members who may have normal mental health throughout the year but who show signs of depression at a specific time of the year, namely winter.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression associated with seasonal changes. Usually, symptoms tend to appear during those months that have less sunshine and starts and ends at about the same times every year - from the fall and continues through until the end of winter. Symptoms usually involved lowered energy and depression.

So What To Do?

  1. Light Therapy

There are different ways of beating the blues such as light therapy. According to Mayo Clinic light therapy is a way to treat winter depression by exposure to artificial light. This kind of therapy is also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy.
  1. Exercise

There are a lot of different, fun exercises to do together as a family, even if it means standing outside and kicking a ball around or throwing it to each other, playing frisbee or having fun with the family dog. Breaking a sweat naturally releases those feel-good serotonin hormones and you and your family will naturally cheer up. Doing exercise together bonds families too.
  1. Increase Those Omega-3 Fatty Acids

It’s common knowledge that food can affect you and your family’s mood. Too much sugar and the kids are up all night wanting to watch their favorite cartoons. Too much pizza and the whole family is feeling very satisfied but sluggish. In steps the miracle food - Omega-3 fatty acid foods. Food high in fatty acids such as your all-important Omega-3 fatty acids boost mood and are key for brain health. They are known to lift depression, help with concentration and help with calming the central nervous system. Once your family is pumped with ‘feel good’ Omega-3 fatty acids their winter blues will go from deep shades of navy to a pastel blue and they won’t feel so down.  

WebMD suggests a great list of foods you should add to your shopping list to increase your Omega-3  intake and avoid the winter blues:

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids include:


  • Trout
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Oysters
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna (fresh)

Dairy and Juices Fortified With Omega-3s

  • Soy milk
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Margarine
  • Milk
  • Juice

Grains and Nuts With Omega-3’s

  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Flour
  • Pizza, packaged
  • Flour tortillas
  • Walnuts
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Pumpkin seeds

Fresh Produce With ALA Omega-3s

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Oil With ALA Omega-3s

  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Walnut oil

Baby Food With Omega-3s

  • Baby cereals
  • Infant formula
  • Jars of baby food

Other Omega-3-Enhanced Products

  • Supplements
  • Children and adult vitamins
  • Meal replacement bars
  • Protein powders
  • Weight loss shakes

Of course it is not so easy to keep a constant supply of all these foods in your house but Omega-3 supplements are easy to obtain and use for optimum brain health. Just make sure yours has a high EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) mg ratio.

So this winter stock up on whatever your family needs to be healthy and happy!


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