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Feeling Lethargic? The BEST Herbal Remedies for Burnout and the Winter Blues

Woman napping on a leather couch

Many of us feel wiped out during the winter months. Whether that’s burnout from meeting intense end-of-year work deadlines, keeping up with the holidays, or simply feeling the impact of less sunshine and fresh air. 

So, what can you do to give your body and mind a boost during these sleepier months? 

Keep reading for our top recommendations for supporting your mind and body during winter and fighting burnout and those frustrating winter blues. 

Fighting the Winter Blues

As the days get shorter, our moods and energy levels can shift, leaving us feeling sadder, moody, and even depressed. 

Of course, if you are struggling with long-term burnout or suspect you are depressed, we strongly recommend that you speak with a medical professional to help you address these feelings. 

However, if you’re feeling a little down and need a boost, we have some recommendations that can help you get over this hump:

  • Soak up as much sunlight as possible. While the days are shorter during winter, there is still sunlight in most parts of the world. Take advantage of the available sunlight and soak up some rays. One of the reasons little sunshine is so hard on the body is that it can disrupt your circadian rhythm. According to the National Institutes of Health, shortened days can alter your body’s natural rhythm, impacting your sleep and making you feel worse, so take advantage of whatever sunlight you can to work against this. 
  • Look into light therapy. Alternatively, the National Institutes of Health shares that a light box can significantly help patients by simulating sunlight. Most people sit in front of a light box for 30 minutes each morning, but we recommend talking to your doctor for a personalized recommendation. 
  • Prioritize healthy habits. Your body needs extra love from you more than ever, so prioritize eating healthy foods, getting a good night’s sleep, and moving your body daily. While it can seem daunting to keep up with healthy habits when you’re already feeling down, you’ll provide your body with much-needed nutrients and fuel. 

Check out these supportive herbal supplements for uplifting your mood and strengthening the nervous system: 

  • Lemon Balm (Melissa) Capsules: Lemon balm has long been used by herbalists to strengthen the nervous system and support the mind and body during minor depression, anxiety, insomnia, and nervous tension. It’s an excellent choice to promote a calmer, more relaxed state of mind. 
  • Valerian Root Extract: Valerian is packed with calcium and magnesium, which are believed to help the nervous system during anxiety, insomnia, minor depression, irritability, and headaches from stress — all things many of us experience during the winter blues. 
  • Light & Lift Capsules: This herbal blend contains valerian, St. John’s Wort, ginkgo, peppermint, and rosemary to help uplift those feeling a bit down. Many of these herbs are known for their calming effects, while others stimulate the mind, supporting your overall energy levels and mood. 

Beat Lethargy and Insomnia

No matter how much you love (or hate) mornings, it’s undoubtedly more challenging to get up when it’s still pitch black out — not to mention chilly! 

If you’re struggling with your sleep or just feeling wiped out, try these healthy hacks to give yourself a boost: 

  • Consider a Vitamin D supplement. According to the Cleveland Clinic, fatigue and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can result from vitamin D deficiencies, which occur more often in the winter because many of us get less sunlight. While eating more foods rich in vitamin D can help with this, taking a vitamin D supplement is a helpful option for some individuals. Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, getting sick more easily, feelings of sadness, and even achiness. 
  • Prioritize a consistent sleep schedule. We know this is hard to follow during the winter months with the holidays and changes in daylight, but a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most essential factors in promoting better sleep. 
  • Struggling with sleep? Check out supportive herbal supplements like our Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Z’s Capsules, which contain valerian, passion flower, lemon balm, and other sleep-encouraging herbs, or our Sleepy Tea, which supports those struggling with insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, and tension. 
  • Look into energy-promoting remedies and herbs. We recommend our Captured Energy essence, which provides an overall sense of well-being and enhances the energy in your body. Another excellent option is Ashwagandha Capsules — a favorite among herbalists for promoting increased energy, vitality, and improved sleep. It’s even said to work as an adaptogen for combating stress, which is something most of us could use a little more of in our lives. 

For more information, see our article on science-backed herbs for sleep.

Conquer Brain Fog

For some of us, brain fog is more common in the winter, whether that’s because we’re feeling down or anxious, have recently been sick, or are off our routine (our brains love patterns!). 

If that describes you, check out these herbal remedies to fight brain fog: 

  • Take time for self-care. It’s tempting to throw ourselves into work or productive activities when it feels like we’re behind, but sometimes brain fog is a sign that our minds need a break. Take time to do something purely for your enjoyment, such as reading a cozy book, baking, or indulging in a new, luxurious face mask. 
  • Give yourself a boost with some nootropics. Nootropics, such as Lion’s Mane Mushrooms, are herbs with purported cognitive benefits. We love our Mushroom Coffee Instant Mix filled with powerhouse mushrooms or our Mind Sharp Capsules, an herbal blend packed with herbs that support attention, alertness, concentration, and mental energy. 
  • Use essential oils. Essential oils have so many benefits, and there are a HUGE number of focus-enhancing options available. Some of our favorites include the Balance & Focus Essential Oil (also available in roll-on form) or  Vetivert Essential Oil, which is ideal for grounding the mind and body and counteracting feelings of exhaustion, hyperactivity, or spaciness. Diffuse or apply concentration-boosting essential oils for a boost whenever you feel scatterbrained. 

For more ideas on counteracting brain fog, check out this research-backed article on the best herbs for brain fog

We hope this article helps you combat some of the frustrating aspects of winter so you can enjoy all the best parts of the season! 

Warm Wishes, 

Natalie & Leilah

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