As the winter season sets in many people experience changes in mood, energy, sleep, and hunger patterns. Like the earth, our bodies and minds gravitate toward restoration, yet life – society – continues at a bustling pace.
It's no wonder that during these seasons we experience more contrast between the shift in our internal energy and the continued societal demand to maintain a dizzying pace.
For some people, this contrast becomes deeply rooted during winter, resulting in what is called seasonal depression that clears in the spring. It might be referred to the winter blahs. Blues or other terms but essentially it’s the same!
During the winter season, we are expected to continue at the same pace we did when there was more light and the weather was warmer. To help balance the shift of seasons, consider these tips to help you create space to embrace rest and restoration during the winter months.
1. Maximize the light you have!!
Open curtains, remove screens, clean windows, and trim back tree branches to let in more light. Find a bright location in your home where you can sit or lie down to soak in the sun's energy. Rearrange furniture in east- or south-facing rooms to maximize natural light. Embrace the natural light, however limited, to help start off the day on the right foot.
Do not underestimate how important the sunlight is to the human body. Living in Northeast Ohio can be gray and tough to get that sunlight – but when we have a sunny day take advantage!
2. Reduce obligations that add stress to your life.
Be mindful of what things are necessary and fulfilling. Let go of those things that cause you to feel overextended – practice saying NO! I cannnot tell you how many times I have uttered the word YES to something to only spend the time in between the YES and the event trying to finagle a way to simply not go or do! No -- can reduce that stress level.
3. Embrace moments of rest.
If you (like most of us) need to maintain a busy schedule through the winter, give yourself permission to absorb and be grateful for moments of rest. It will help you get through the busy moments.
4. Enjoy sunrises and sunsets.
Witness and appreciate the warm, vivid colors of sunrise and sunset. At sunrise, create your intention for the day. Do not laugh at this one – it is soothing – and since it gets dark around 5:30 PM – easy to catch the sunset and sunrise is not until 6:30 AM on most days the nice thing about winter you have a chance to catch Both!
5. Emphasize gratitude.
Consider everything there is to appreciate during the winter months. Snow is beautiful -- the crisp air is refreshing --be grateful. We can never have enough gratitude and it helps us get through those blahs!
6. Keep active and get outside.
Change up your routine to include lower impact activities that align with the slowing, restorative pace of winter. Yoga, stretching, and walking are great ways to stay active. Walking outside, even for five minutes, will invigorate the mind, body, heart, and spirit. The crisp air and exposure to natural light will bolster your mood, energy, and physical well-being. Samantha and I ski on Saturdays in the winter– makes those winter months fly!
All of these can help you withstand the winter blues! :)
As always if you have comments about this blog or simply need a quote I am a phone call away – 440-527-0304!