Real Talk: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Feb 04, 2022

This article discusses mental health, Seasonal Affective disorder, and depression. Please note: the herbal product discussed in this article is not a replacement for a pharmaceutical antidepressant medication and could interact with SSRI medications. Always reach out to a mental health professional for advice regarding formal diagnosis, treatment, and conditions. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time to speak to a trained professional. 

The days are shorter, nights are longer

And the pandemic has now remixed herself more times than Lady Gaga. It feels like all the odds are against us feeling good this time of year, and our greatest enemy is SAD — Seasonal Affective Disorder, that is. 

According to the NIH, Seasonal Affective Disorder is actually not its own disorder, "but a type of depression characterized by its recurrent seasonal pattern." Symptoms (shared with those of major depression) include but are not limited to: feeling depressed often and for long periods of time, lack of interest in things that once brought you joy, fatigue, low energy, trouble concentrating, and feelings of hopelessness.

There are even winter-specific SAD symptoms (otherwise known as the "winter blues") which include oversleeping, overeating, weight gain, and social withdrawal. Given that we've been told to stay away from each other to prevent the spread of a virus, you could say a lot of us are feeling social withdrawal to the umpteenth degree, honey!

Real talk? I know I've experienced feelings of depression, anxiety, sluggishness, and general hopelessness more than I'd like to lately. Going through my own personal life pivots, trying to maintain friendships while being socially distanced, plus the fact that it's dark and cold outside for most of the day (I'm currently writing this from snowy Ohio) hasn't exactly been the best situation for my mental health. And while it brings some relief to know that those symptoms are potentially from SAD and the general state of the world, it doesn't make the experience of feeling that way any easier in the moment. 

Luckily, there are ways we can ease those SAD feelings. Light therapy (with lamps that mimic natural sunlight or going outside), moving our bodies, and making social plans as much as possible are some ways to mitigate symptoms. And because plants are utter magic, there are also herbs out there that will naturally lift your mood and lower your anxiety. Enter: Rose Colored Glasses, Apothékary's latest seasonally-driven, limited release. 

Erin, Apothékary's Clinical Herbalist worked hard to develop a targeted blend that not only lowers anxiety but also lifts your mood (and libido, to boot)! This blend was created specially for Seasonal Affective Disorder during winter months, but it can also be used whenever you need a dose of happy. 

So, what's in it?

This season’s must-have blend features the following functional herbs:

  • Rose. But you probably guessed that already. 😉 Rose petals contain compounds that naturally calm the nervous system, improve mood, and even act as an aphrodisiac (it is a romantic flower, after all).

  • Mucuna Pruriens. Affectionately known as the "dopa bean," mucuna is a natural source of L-dopa, the precursor to the hormone dopamine (which is the one that makes you feel happy). It's been studied in relation to depression, and it also has anxiety-reducing and cognitive performance-boosting properties.

  • Hawthorn Berry. This berry boosts mood, reduces anxiety, and supports the cardiovascular system. In the herbalism world, it's known to "heal a broken heart." Awhhhhhh. Adele should sell these berries with her albums.

  • Maca Root. Maca is energizing and known to lift people experiencing depression out of a low energy state. It also supports memory and focus, is high in antioxidants, boosts libido, and balances hormones. That latter attribute is clutch, since mood issues can often stem from hormone imbalances to begin with.

  • Hibiscus. This citrusy flower rounds out the blend with mood-boosting, antioxidant-delivering, and cholesterol-improving properties. 

If the winter blues have you feeling like a damsel in distress this season, it's safe to say these heroic herbs are about to dropkick your dreariness and make you feel rosy. Now that's a self-love story I want to read. 

Get your Rose Colored Glasses

If you're ready to order our Rose Colored Glasses Inside Scoop box, don't wait. The last day to order is Thursday, February 10. 

To celebrate Black History Month and support the ongoing efforts to make mental health support accessible to all, we will be donating 10% of our February profits from our Rose Colored Glasses Inside Scoop box to The Loveland Foundation.


About the Author

Leah Jereb is a copywriter, comedy writer, performer, and voice actor. You can follow her online @ljsayshey or