The Winter Blues are defined as a wave of low emotions that come with the cold, dark days. In combination with feeling the pressure of new year resolutions, and recovering financially from Christmas, it can feel extremely overwhelming. This feeling is likely also compounded by our current world situation and the prevalence of this pandemic, so if you’ve been feeling down lately, please know you are not alone. For this Wellness Wednesday we went in depth with all of the tools we use to battle the Winter Blues and in some people’s cases, full on SAD (Seasonal Depression Disorder).
One of the things I struggle with the most is negative self-talk. If I do something wrong, or forget something I am quick to call myself an idiot, often times using worse words than that. Adjusting the way I speak to myself has been a game changer for my mental health. Using positive words when I am referencing myself, having patience when mistakes are made or things are missed and essentially allowing myself to be human has truly changed the outcome of some situations for me. I also use positive affirmations frequently. Showing myself a type of love and care that I never used to before has helped me to be more accepting of myself as whole person. Some of my preferred affirmations are:
“I trust that by giving my best each day, the Universe will open more doors in the future than I can ever imagine.”
“I will not be overwhelmed by any decision I feel I have to make; instead I will understand I am being guided by spirit and the Universe.”
“My worth is determined by who I am, not what I do.”
You must move your body. Compounded negative energy can physically manifest into a variety of ailments. Energy does become stagnant in your body, and it can cause aches and pains that you may not be able to identify the source of. Scientifically speaking, there are many fact-based articles written about the correlation between exercise and mental health. Now, the suggestion isn’t to go get an expensive gym membership and commit to 2 hours twice a day (although if you can, good for you!). It’s to move for 15 – 30 minutes every day. My preferred method of movement is Yoga. Yoga has so many variations that literally anyone can do it. YouTube has videos on how to do Yoga in bed, on a chair, and of course on a traditional mat. Take a few minutes and find a something that inspires you to move. Make a playlist and dance even! We have access to free content via the Internet, and there are many fitness companies offering virtual and in-person instruction if you need some guidance. One of our favourites is Unchained Athletics, because they believe in access to equality for marginalized communities who have historically, and are currently unable to access wellness.
Every morning that I wake up and don’t see the sun, is a morning I feel to stay in bed longer. Joy and light inspiring crystals are my go-to's during the darker days of Winter. You can place these crystals in your space, wear them in the form of jewellery or just carry them in your pockets. Meditating with them, and using them to envision their energy filling you with warm, bright light is an effective way to make use of your crystals!
It brings the healing energy of the sun into your auric field, filling it with light and warmth. This stone is wonderful for treating the effects of the Winter Blues as it helps lift your mood and encourages a more hopeful and positive outlook.
Work with Carnelian to help increase your motivation to look after your physical health. This orange crystal will help gently increase your energy and channel it towards positive actions and creative outlets. This helps with your mental health and could reduce any anxiety.
A stone of the sun, Citrine is a powerful cleanser and re-generator. It helps energize every level of life. Connecting to the solar plexus, it brings joy and positivity.
Containing Lithium, Lepidolite helps balance mood swings and alleviate depression. It dispels negativity and overcomes insomnia.
Rose Quartz reminds me to treat myself with love and care, as it is the stone of unconditional love and peace. It draws loving energy towards you, and is excellent to have close to your bedside and on your person.
Orange Calcite is an incredibly energizing and cleansing stone, particularly for the lower chakras, or energy centers, concerned with our feelings of belonging in the world, being connected to others and the planet, and our creativity. It is an excellent stone to choose to balance the emotions and release feelings of fear and anxiety.
HERBS & SUPPLEMENTS
Please note, we are of course not doctors. These suggestions are things that we have researched for our individual use, and what we currently use. We have spoken with Holistic Nutritionists and Naturopaths but please consult your preferred Medical Professional, especially if you are taking any medications currently.
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. It’s classified as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body cope with stress. It’s known as one of the best natural substitutes for anti depressants. It also helps to increase overall cognitive function.
St. John’s Wort:
St. John's Wort is most commonly used for depression and conditions that sometimes go along with depression such as anxiety, tiredness, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. There is some strong scientific evidence that it is effective for mild to moderate depression.
Incredibly nutritive to the nervous system. It is calming and supports the mood while also increasing alertness. It helps to increase cognitive speed. Energetically, lemon balm is cooling and helps us to re-centre, ground and tune in.
Gingko is a powerful antioxidant, and it is neuroprotective. As an antioxidant, it helps to protect the brain from oxidative stress and in the aging process. Gingko supports cerebrovascular health and helps to improve memory and concentration.
Studies have found that lion’s mane mushrooms contain two special compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells: hericenones and erinacines. It has anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also helps regenerate brain cells and improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional responses, and increases overall immune system.
Ginseng has been shown to help fight fatigue and promote energy. It also reduces inflammation in the body, and improves brain functions like memory, behavior and mood.
It is considered to be a rejuvenating tonic for vitality and memory, and to improve cognitive function.
Known as the Sunshine Vitamin, There is sufficient research to show that not having enough of the vitamin can lead to depression-like symptoms. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains Vitamin D, naturally. All other natural food sources of Vitamin D are of animal, poultry or seafood origin. Also, some foods, such as milk, orange juice and cereals may be fortified with Vitamin D, up to 100 IU.
Contains 92 of the 102 essential nutrients for the body. It supports your immune system, and promotes good gut health, healthy skin, bringing down inflammation and increasing your energy and metabolism among many other awesome benefits.
Many of these supplements we consume as teas, or add their powder forms to our food or shakes. They can most likely be found at your local health food store, but if you have any issues reach out to us!
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Sandra-Lee & The 808 Team.