The short daylight hours of late fall can be tough on all of us from time to time. Thankfully, naturally managing seasonal sadness is doable with minimum effort or expense.
Embrace the Shift
The seasons change and so does how we move about in our days based on those seasons. This is the very essence of seasonal living. Dark days do indeed mean we likely spend more time inside. Rather than allowing that to cause stress or depression find a way to make it joyful.
Practice hobbies, read books, connect with family, etc. Use this time as a way of slowing down the external but also a way of deepening the home roots. This time can go a long way into providing a foundation of simple and intentional living that carries over into the busier seasons.
We can’t live a life connected to the natural rhythms of the earth if we’re not finding time to actually be in nature. It’s truly as simple as taking a walk outside. Just a walk around the neighborhood, it doesn’t have to be a 10-mile hike in some remote area (though that’s good too).
Simply get outside and notice the trees, the sky, the stars, the clouds, and feel connected to nature. This time of year might require multiple layers. Invest in some good warm clothing that will last you for years and go for a walk. Use the indoor time to craft a hat, scarf, gloves etc. and wear them proudly while you walk.
Time in the sun provides us fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D – all things that go a long way into uplifting the spirit and keeping the body healthy.
The colder, darker days mean many of us bake, I know I do more baking now than I do in say July. It also seems that we become one giant sugar feast from a few days before Halloween through the New Year in many places.
Those sugar laden and often white flour laden treats slow us all down. They crush our immune system and while they provide a temporary boost they often send us crashing into crankiness later.
Avoid that by indulging responsibly and eating a diet based more on healthy whole foods. Paying attention to what we consume goes a long a way into shaping our mental attitude. Eat nourishing soups and casseroles full of seasonal foods like winter squash, cabbage, ethically raised meat, apples, and more.
There comes a time when a person might need a little extra mood lift. There are numerous herbs that can provide gentle help.
Make a savory syrup of hawthorn and cranberries to soothe the spirit and help the heart.
Try an uplifting formula that includes St. John’s Wort, lemon balm, and other herbs
Drink a cup of warming and soothing tea with oat straw, lavender, and chamomile
Use bee pollen to regulate moods and increase neurotransmitter activity
In this hustle and bustle season, self-care tends to slip even more than it does normally in our busy lives. Make time for it. Set aside some time for meaningful rejuvenation.
Take a bath full of healing and soothing bath salts.
Spend time quietly reflecting and journaling.
Pray or meditate.
Simply find time to refill the well of your soul.
Along with practicing self-care, know when to call in the big guns. Seek professional help if and when it becomes necessary. Consider using UV lights the mimic the sun and finding support for more serious conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder – which is much more involved than a simple case of the blues.
As we move this season of shorter and shorter days until the return of the sun, it is possible to find joy or at the very least manage the winter blues. Remember that this season is as natural as any other on earth. Take some time to find what works best for you personally and run with it.