Essential Oils for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Essential Oils for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter can come with festive celebrations and cozy traditions. But for many of us living in colder climates, winter also brings shortened days and reduced sunlight. These seasonal changes can be difficult to adjust to and can even result in seasonal affective disorder. 


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (sometimes referred to as “SAD”) is a type of mood change associated with changing seasons. When the days get shorter, resulting in more darkness and less sunlight, many people notice a change in their moods and behavior. 


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the signs and symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder are similar to those associated with major depression, with some specific differences. 


According to the NIMH symptoms of major depression can include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Experiencing changes in appetite or weight
  • Having problems with sleep
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having low energy
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

The NIMH says that, in addition to the symptoms above, specific symptoms of winter SAD may include:

  • Oversleeping (hypersomnia)
  • Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Social withdrawal (feeling like “hibernating”)


Can Essential Oils Help With Seasonal Affective Disorder? 

Seasonal affective disorder can be serious, and there isn’t a one-cure-fits-all. If you feel that seasonal affective disorder is impacting your life, talk to a doctor or mental health professional. According to NIMH, seasonal affective disorder is often treated with light therapy, psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, and or vitamin D. 


Essential oils can’t cure SAD, but they might help alleviate milder symptoms for some people. 


Here are some of our favorite essential oils to use to help offset less severe symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. 


  • Peppermint – peppermint essential oil is naturally energizing and can promote focus, motivation, and mental clarity. Peppermint is ideal for diffusing on winter mornings when low light and low temperatures make it difficult to get out of bed. 

  • Orange – a natural mood booster, orange essential oil can help lift your spirits and promote positivity. One of the most common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder is feeling down or lethargic. Orange essential oil can brighten the room and your mood! 

  • Rosemary – rosemary essential oil helps improve focus. Difficulty concentrating is a common symptom of seasonal affective disorder, making rosemary a great oil to diffuse in your workspace during winter months. 

  • Cedarwood – cedarwood essential oil is grounding and soothing, making it an ideal oil to diffuse if you’re having difficulty sleeping or are feeling the symptoms of agitation often associated with SAD. 

Secret Zest Happy Blend – We know that feeling positive isn’t always easy, especially during winter months and tough seasons. That’s why we made an essential oil blend specifically for promoting positive emotions. Bergamont, orange, ylang ylang, lemon, and geranium all work together to improve the mood and brighten the spirits in our Secret Zest happy blend. It’s also available as a pre-diluted roll-on.
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