If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you know that winter time is looming. With it comes colder weather, shortening of days, and a dramatic decrease in the amount of green you see outside.
If you are like me or many people that I know, the weather can affect your mood in a major way. Many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder aka Seasonal Depression.
There are a few things that can be done in order to not get caught with the winter blues.
Here we go!
•Well first thing is first: STAY WARM! Do what you can to stay warm at all times. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Keep the external fires (aka heaters) burning as well as the internal ones! Keep the creation going, find ways to laugh with your belly among the ones that you love,
•Ways to stay warm: Layer up. Move your body! Take warm baths and showers. Get a massage. Yoga. Have (safe) sex. DANCE.
• Eat heavier and warming foods. The middle of winter is not the best time to grab a bowl of salad. Get the soups and stews brewing!
• This time is the perfect time to binge on herbal (non-caffinated) teas and other naturally warming drinks like Golden Mylk.
Quick Golden Mylk (kind of) recipe. Kind of because I don't do exact measurements, but I will do my best for measurement sake:
-Your favorite non-dairy milk. Mine is hemp milk or rice milk. (1-2 C, depends on how strong you want it. Less milk + stronger/thicker mylk)
-Turmeric powder (1 tsp-1 tbsp)
-Black Pepper (1/2 tsp-1tsp) ***if you do not include black pepper, the healing power of the turmeric is not activated!!!
-Cinnamon powder (1 tsp)
-Cardamom pods (1 tsp)
-Coconut Oil (1 tbsp)
-Honey (1 tbsp)
The last two ingredients are optional, but I love to throw in a some coconut oil for healthy fat and honey for sweetness!
- Warm up your mylk and cardamom pods in a pot on med-low heat. I like to do this first so that the cardamom can really seep into the mylk.
- Add your turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon.
- Whisk together, let simmer.
-After a few minutes, add coconut oil, & turn off stove.
-Once everything is combined and hot, strain out your cardamom, pour liquid into cup, and add honey to taste. That is it!
• Meditate. Mindfulness and meditation always improves your mental status! Even 5-10 minutes of stillness and reflection will help your day!
• I have not tried this, but a Happy Light has been on my "Invest in This" list for a while now. These lights are said to enhance moods because of the (safe) UV rays that it emits. Basically it mimics the light of sun, which usually makes people happy by causing out brain to release "happy hormones" by way of Vitamin D.
• Talking about Vitamin D, find supplements that have vitamin D in it. It is usually produced when skin comes into contact with the sun, but since there is less sun in the winter time, you guessed it...less Vitamin D as well! Vitamin D has many purposes and one includes supporting the health of your immune system, brain, and nervous system.
• Use incense and resins that help boost your mood. Energy enhancing/grounding incense, resins, and essential oils include, but are not limited to: frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, all citrus (grapefruit, orange, lemon), peppermint, bergamot, geranium.
• Herbs are our friends (when used properly aka be wise and consult a physician if need be)! Calming and soothing herbs include chamomile, peppermint, motherwort, . Uplifting and warming herbs include ginger, ginseng, orange/lemon peel. Lemon balm,
• Do more of whatever makes you happy. Whatever it is, as long as you are not hurting yourself or others.
• Practice being mindful and grateful. Be aware of your thoughts and every time a negative thought enters your head, counter it with a positive thought. Example: Negative thought. I am so cold. I hate the cold. Positive, counter thought that includes gratitude. I am grateful to have the ability to fell the cold and I am grateful to have measures to get warm again via layers of clothes, a heater, a house that shelters me from the cold.
We will add to the list as we are made aware of different techniques and tools to help deal with SAD.