In our Celtic calendar we are now moving from Samhain in November to The Winter Solstice, the shortest day on Dec 21st.
As we head towards the darkest time of the year, we may notice a change in our energy and mood. Rising in the morning in darkness and coming home from work in the darkness may affect how we feel. Many people experience a type of low mood, anxiety or depression. The term SAD is used for this experience. It stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. The lack of light, and the short days can have a negative impact on us. Here are some ideas and strategies in order to manage ourselves during these dark days:
- Taking a vitamin D supplement as this can boost mood and health.
- Walking in nature. Exercise boosts the endorphins which in turn create an upbeat mood. Do you ever notice that when you return from a walk that your mood has shifted?
- Noticing nature around you, taking in the beauty, colours, shapes, and being aware of how this affects you. This is called resourcing oneself in Trauma therapy.
- Having a daily practice of meditation or mindfulness, can lift anxiety and low mood. Joining a class which teaches it, will help establish a routine and offer support.
- Yoga and Tai Chi can help to move your body and energy and not remain stuck. This sense of flexibility in body, can translate to mind.
- Allow yourself to rest and hibernate like our ancestors did, before they had electricity and mobile phones!! If you are tired, take more rest. Listen to what your body needs. Pushing yourself can leave you drained and more prone to viruses.
All the above are easy steps that can make a difference. These may leave you in a better place to reach out to friends or family for extra support. If the feelings persist then getting some more structured support from a trained and empathetic therapist is a next step to consider.
When your eyes are tired
The world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
— David Whyte
from The House of Belonging
©1996 Many Rivers Press
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