Many of us have already begun to feel the affect of colder temperatures. “It happens every year”, you might say. Think for a moment on the power of words. You could say, “Last year I was not ready for winter and it really got me down. This year I am going to prepare myself and not put life on hold just because it is winter”! Wow! How powerful that feels! Seasonal depression can be a real challenge for many of us. Here are some additional liberating thoughts and ideas to help you in your new way of transitioning into the winter season.
• Don’t resist something that is so natural. Flow right into it. See it coming. Plan for it. Embrace it, like an evergreen extracting all the freshness and energy of the new season.
• Understand the purpose of winter and how important it is to your overall health and longevity. It is the time to rest and recharge as much as possible. Go to sleep earlier. In winter your body expects more sleep, which corresponds with nature’s longer nights.
• Keep in mind that no season lasts forever. So set goals for spring. Out of that goal setting will come many indoor projects leading up to your spring accomplishments. These projects could include research (internet and library), phone calls, inquiries, and planning.
• Keep your body loose and fit. Stretch and do some type of exercise that is good for you everyday. Raise a window and take deep breaths to clear your lungs. The lungs and the large intestine are more dominant organs during this season, so keep them clear and mucus free.
• Schedule indoor activities, projects, and free time. Experiment with recipes to make them healthier, and write letters to catch up with friends and family. Go to the craft shop and pick up that old hobby or start a new one. For example, get those wonderful vacation or special occasion photographs out and scrapbook them. This does several things, it becomes a keepsake or heirloom, but it also gives you wonderful thoughts as you re-live what you did, and look forward to more good times.
• Buy fresh cut flowers weekly – place them in a prominent place in the house. Make sure to discard them as soon as they start to wilt.
• Stop criticizing yourself and others. Add the words “its going to be all right” as your everyday affirmation. Find one thing to laugh about everyday. Laughter is therapeutic and a great massage for the internal organs.
• Avoid TV before bed or at meals, which is a primary source for reinforcing negative thinking. Buy a few easy listening CDs and get some of that reading done. Don’t give TV too much power. Schedule your TV time – don’t allow it trespass over your entire space and time.
• Eat less meat and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Nature is at rest and living inward. Our bodies respond well to those root foods because of their medicinal properties for building a healthy immune system. They include garlic, onions, beets, ginger, and burdock. Additionally, eat those foods that are in season, including citrus, apples, grapes, pears, walnuts, sunflower seeds squash, brown rice, corn, and wheat. Our bodies also respond well to the following spices: turmeric (which is also in curry), fennel, cumin, peppers, sage, nutmeg, and parsley. Limit sweets, cheese, bread, milk, and fried foods, which promote congestion (mucus) in our bodies.
• Drink plenty of room temperature water. Dehydration is very common during the winter months. Water is an essential nutrient to the brain and it promotes positive thinking. Also experiment with the wonderful variety of herbal teas. Use honey, lemon or maple syrup as sweeteners. Limit alcohol, which can lead to dehydration.
• Alcohol weakens body and brain function. Alcohol also makes us more vulnerable to depression.
• When you do go out, take the winter challenge. How many layers of clothing will you need in order to stay warm? Keep your chest, neck, head, and feet warm. If winter wins that day, try again tomorrow. Wear a brightly colored item (scarf, hat or gloves), which is a great pick-me-up for you and others.
• Consider planning at least one get together where you invite some special positive people over, so that they can bring that positive energy into your home.
Notice that these things do not require a lot of money. Meaningful things don’t have to break the budget.
Winter can wear you down if you let it. With a change of attitude, some positive thoughts along with some gentle treatment, you may be able to cancel that standing date with seasonal depression. Instead you can embraced winter like and evergreen. And the comes spring!
Note: This information is not medical advice. Please seek help from a health practitioner if you are in need of assistance.