Reframing "The Winter Blues"

 

This time of year is full of darkness; the sun is at the farthest angle from the earth. This absence of light can often cause some seasonal depression for people. The symptoms range from mild to severe. In casesof severe depression, make sure you are getting the professional support you need.

For most of us, we tend to notice that our energy is more depleted and we just don't have the stamina to do as much as we did at other times of the year. We often hear clients say, "I hate winter" in our treatment rooms. By letting go of the "like" or "dislike" of an experience, we can observe what is actually happening.

This decrease in energy is a necessary part of the natural cycle. By listening to your body's wisdom instead of fighting it, you can harmonize yourself with this season and find more ease in the midst of the darkness.  Instead of reaching for the Starbucks, give yourself permission to rest and notice how your experience changes. 

5 Tips to stay healthy in the Late Summer and harmonize the Stomach and Spleen

1) Enjoy nature’s bounty by cooking simple fresh meals prepared at home.

2) If you are not at your local farmer’s market, shop only the perimeter of the grocery store to find the freshest ingredients. In other words, AVOID PROCESSED FOODS!

3) Eat in a relaxed way, sitting at a table and take your time. Avoid distractions like television, radio or laptops.

4) Minimize ice cold drinks, and consume more warm beverages like hot lemon water and herbal teas.

5) Take a 15 minute walk each day as walking is particularly good for digestion. Do not eat more than 2 hours before undertaking more strenuous activities.

Deepening Your Understanding Of Autumn

We are moving into the season of Autumn and the element of metal. Just as the leaves fall from the trees, we too may experience a sense of letting go at this time of year. Energy has begun its contraction in preparation for the winter ahead. We are no longer warmed by the long days of summer; the fall is a time to organize the lazy days of the previous season and make the most of each day. Our rhythm returns and our need for structure emerges as we prepare to go inward and downward in this cycle of nature. 

 

At this time, we may find ourselves more aware of the preciousness of life. Think of a time when you have walked in the woods, when the leaves were vibrant hues and all of the forest was on fire with the colors of the season only to find that the next day, the leaves had fallen. We are reminded yet again of the impermanence of life.


Many people find this season awe-inspiring and feel more connected to nature or spirituality. Some people however, experience a deep sense of loss or grief at this time of year. This emotion is not necessarily a bad thing as it can be used to call us to reflection. Focusing internally, we can identify unresolved sorrows and transform them by being mindful of them. It is when we cannot acknowledge and move through these feelings that illness or depression may arise. Sharing such feelings with others or a professional can help to dissipate them.

One Simple Way to Attune Yourself To The Season

In our modern world, where we can stay cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold, we often forget that what happens outside also happens inside ourselves. We are influenced by the same natural laws that govern the seasons and the movement of day and night. The ancient Chinese people knew that by harmonizing themselves with these rhythms and cyclic changes, they could maintain good health and wellbeing for a long abundant life. We as a society have lost our connection to these rhythms and have suffered because of it. In Chinese Medicine,many modern ills can be attributed to this lost wisdom such as fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, seasonal affective disorder and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few.

Have you noticed the days are getting shorter? Try going to bed an hour earlier to attune yourself with the season. Adequate sleep boosts immune function. Enjoy the cooler weather!