9 Guaranteed Ways to Fight the Winter Blues (SAD)

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also referred to as winter blues or winter depression, impacts people which experience normal mental health for the rest of the year but get depressed during the cold months and even through the fall.

Nearly 3 percent of Americans are afflicted by SAD.  But a lot of people don’t even realize they’re depressed and attribute altered behavior to the winter weather.

SAD symptoms are often manifested during the time of the year with less sunlight throughout the day as in the colder days of fall and winter months. The symptoms can begin as mild or average but may become severe.

You may go through the winter blues during other parts of the year if you work extended hours indoors in an office building with few windows for sunlight to shine through. Some even experience mood alterations during prolonged stretches of cloudy climate.

You may be experiencing SAD in the event that you frequently feel fatigued, crave foods abundant with carbohydrates, lack enthusiasm in doing normal activities, have a problem diffusing tension and coping with stress, find it hard to concentrate, feel socially withdrawn, and encounter weight gain.

Don’t allow SAD to get you down}, especially through the holidays. Listed below are easy steps to fight seasonal affective disorder:

  • Avoid grains and sugars – Grains and sugars create a risk of insulin resistance, which is connected with depression.
  • Work out – Sweat it out to create endorphins, that promotes a feeling of well-being by minimizing pain and stress.
  • Laugh – Like working out, laughter releases endorphins to provide you with painkilling effects similar to morphine.
  • Meditate and pray.
  • Optimize your degrees of omega-3 good fats – These EFAs might help your emotional well-being. Animal options like top quality fish and krill oil.
  • Pass on drinks – Avoid alcoholic beverages because drinking is only going to depress you more.
  • Sleep early – We are designed to fall asleep when at sunset. In the wintertime, however, you might want to go to bed at an earlier time to conserve this biological pattern and prevent disrupting fragile hormonal cycles within your body.
  • Socialize – No man can be an island. Go find good people that will help cheer you up.
  • Try light treatment – There are small lightweight lamps known as light boxes that make artificial full-spectrum light which mimic outdoor light to improve your mood.

Why Spraying Pesticides to Combat Zika Virus is Actually Bad for You

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Millions of honeybees are dead in Dorchester County, South Carolina, and local beekeepers say the mass death was a result of the county spraying the area with the controversial pesticide naled on Sunday afternoon in an effort to combat Zika-spreading mosquitoes.

“The pattern [of bee death] matched acute pesticide poisoning,” the Washington Post reported, and added:

A Clemson University scientist collected soil samples from Flowertown on Tuesday,according to WCBD-TV, to further investigate the cause of death. But to the bee farmers, the reason is already clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes.

A single apiary in Summerville, South Carolina lost 2.5 million bees in 46 hives, according to a local resident’s comments on Facebook. Kristina Solara Litzenberger said that visiting the apiary after the spraying “was like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”

“[W]ithout honeybees we have no food,” Litzenberger added. “Additionally, one can only deduct that if that much damage was caused to the bees, how will this affect people, wildlife, and the ecosystem?”

Beekeepers are supposed to be warned prior to any pesticide spraying, so that they can cover their hives to protect them. But local bee owners say they were not given any warning about Sunday’s spraying, according to the local news station WCBD—and this was also the first time the community was subjected to aerial spraying, rather than spraying from trucks.

“Had I known [about the spraying beforehand] I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming no you can’t do this,” a beekeeper told WCSC, another local station.

“I was angry that day, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that we spray poison from the sky,” Andrew Macke, another beekeeper in Dorchester County, told WCBD.

Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner at Friends of the Earth, observed in an email to Common Dreamsthat “widespread pesticide use has led to unintended consequences in the past, and has great potential to damage both public health and the environment. To tackle unwanted pest problems, it is important to primarily employ alternative pest management strategies that focus on pest prevention through cultural, biological, structural, and mechanical means, and use toxic pesticides only as a last resort.”

And naled is a particularly dangerous pesticide, as the Miami Herald reported earlier this month:

Several studies suggest that long-term exposure to even low levels of naled can have serious health effects for children and infants as well as wildlife, including butterflies and bees, for whom exposure can be lethal. Some studies suggest it might have neurological and developmental effects on human fetuses, including on brain size, echoing the severe consequences that eradication of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika virus is meant to prevent.

While the EPA brushes aside concerns that naled is harmful to honeybees and to humans, the EU banned the chemical’s use in Europe in 2012 because its research found that pesticides containing naled “pose a potential and unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.”