Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Flowing With The Winter Blues

Winter is an event that is experienced by all living beings on Earth.  Characterized by drastic changes in nature and the "holidays", it is a time for a change of pace.  However, sometimes a change of pace can throw us a little bit off balance. During the holidays that take place during the winter, we experience changes in  our routines in school and/or work due to the extra days off that most of us are able to enjoy. For some, this time off is very appreciated and it is spent with family and loved ones; while for others this is a time of melancholy and solitude and sometimes may fall into the "Winter Blues".

The Winter Blues can affect many different people, for different reasons. For example,  migrant workers may find themselves feeling lonely and missing their families if they are far from home and are unable to visit. Those who have recently been through break-ups , separations, or death may also have a hard time during the winter and holiday season. 
Whatever the circumstances may be, it's important to acknowledge that it is healthy to take time to reflect and heal if necessary,  but it is also important to know that melancholy can develop into mild depression if a flow of sad emotions is not addressed. 

Here is a brief summary of common causes for depression as listed in "The Melaleuca Wellness Guide" Chapter 12: "Healthy Body" pg. 133
Here are some Simple Tips on how to flow through the Winter Blues:

Water: We all know hydration is essential for our body to function since we are 70% water.  Water also is a great medicine for headaches, fatigue, and many other afflictions.  However we have noticed in the winter we often forget to drink water since it is so cold.  Just a reminder, we may warm up our water and drink it just like that or add some lemon juice or peppermint to it.  We may also drink teas such as Chamomile or  Tulsi, Martha's favorite that can help decrease our stress levels. Finally we may make more nourishing soups or broths that may provide much needed warm hydration for the winter months.

Sunlight: Our body craves the sunlight vitamin.  We are meant to spend more time outdoors enjoying the sun and unfortunately we are often in our home, offices, or cars. Sunshine gives us much needed Vitamin D that is essential for a healthy immune system and one of the best medicines for depression. Wake up earlier when possible and greet the sun as it comes up, take lunch outside or do your best to seek the sun whenever it is out.  Also if you are still lacking sunlight you may supplement with foods such as mushrooms, fish oils, eggs, tofu, or get Vitamin D drops from your local health food store.

Movement: Exercise or movement is a great stress reliever.  When we move, shake, boogie, or just walk it is not only beneficial for our physical self but it also moves  and clears stagnant emotions.  In this technological age we may not have to go outside to workout just put youtube on your gadget and look up tai chi or yoga for beginners or put some music and dance your heart out.  Finally whenever weather permits do go outside for a hike in nature or a brisk walk around your neighborhood.

Touch: In this digital era we hardly ever hear people's voices much less touch them.  Touch is very important for us humans it is scientifically proven to calm stress, decrease disease, and strengthen our immune system. If possible go get a massage if you cannot afford one get a partner and look online on how to give each other a massage or do self massage to hands or feet.  Have a partner, friend, pet, etc. near to cuddle, hug, or carress.

Cacao: This is our ultimate favorite for preventing depression!  Chocolate is a superfood and was an important and sacred drink of our ancestors.  Cacao affects dopamine levels in our brains which promotes relaxation, increases focus and alertness and helps us feel good.  Please do not get the sugary chocolate that will make you feel good one minute and horrible the next, you may get good raw cacao nibs or powder at your local health food store and enjoy such a sweet glorious food by itself or mix with water, vanilla, honey, and cinnamon for a warm winter drink.

Finally, make positive affirmations. Thinking positive thoughts increases self-confidence and can instantly change your mood and perspective. Understand that is normal for ALL beings to go through changes, challenges and even sadness; but it is also normal and a great gift from life to experience laughter, happiness and a sense of achievement and triumph. Believe in your self and always walk towards the light at the end of the tunnel. As long as we are alive, we are able to look for solutions to the issues that burden us. Also remember that you are worthy of joy and love and the key to your happiness and prosperity is your hands!

To close, we would like to share an affirmation with all of you. May it empower us to flow with the changes of life and the Winter Blues:

Thank you for reading. We wish you all a beautiful winter season!