The holiday season is now upon us and the days have gotten shorter. We’ve lost the extra hour of daylight and fallen back to normal time. We usually think this time of year is full of joy, but for some of us winter brings low spirits as the days get shorter. Many experience changes in mood and emotions, feelings of exhaustion and for many of us, feelings of depression due to lack of sunlight. The severe form of this depression is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
If you think you’re experiencing the winter blues, here are a few suggestions to help you through the wintertime misery. In winter we think of colors of blues and grays, cold temperatures and staying inside more often. Uplift your mood by decorating your home with colors of the sun. These colors evoke images of fire and heat, enhancing feelings of warmth and happiness. Reds overcome depression, encouraging activity which improves our body metabolism. Orange brings joy and reduces feelings of grief. Yellow stimulates the mind, clears your head and also reduces depression.
You don’t need to pick up a paintbrush to accomplish this. Add colorful pillows or tablecloths in the colors of the sun. Place candles with wonderful aromas around your home. Use sofa or chair covers to brighten up your darker furniture. Place plants and flowers inside to remind you of the smells and look of spring and summer. Even replace hard wooden and metal blinds with soft curtains.
Winter is great time to stimulate your creativity. Visit museums or go to movies or plays. Hang out with friends and learn a new game. If you enjoy reading, catch up on the book or books you’ve been meaning to read. Organize a room or even your whole house.
Another way to beat the winter blues is to add a new hobby or start exercising. Anything to get you moving will do. Both rid feelings of depression, especially exercise. It increases serotonin release in the body. Bundle up and head outdoors for a brisk walk, snowball fight or sledding, playing with your dog or even riding your horse.
A balanced diet that will keep you warding off the winter blues includes plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This includes plenty of water. Holidays mean food. Try to stay away from too many sweets and that includes alcohol. You will experience a feeling of happiness initially, but it will soon turn to feelings of exhaustion and depression.
Depression and lack of energy can lower your immune system, exposing you to colds and flu. Consider holistic approaches like aromatherapy to staying well. The use of therapeutic essential oils can prevent your body’s immune system from declining. Bath salts, bath scrubs, and bath and hand soaps with essential oils in them help eliminate many germs, insomnia and body aches. Essential oils applied directly to the body are used for healing, calming and balancing thoughts and emotions. Also using essential oil diffusers in your home can benefit the whole family. Young Living’s blend of Thieves Oil and the single oil, Maleleuca, are great for relieving colds and flu. Stress Away is great for calming the stresses in your life. Lavender Oil is good for calming and sleep. Essential oils can clear a stuffy nose, relieve a headache and body pains, and add to your health and wellness.
Remember that winter is a time for celebration and connecting with family and friends. Take care of yourself with these suggestions and experience how aromatherapy can add to your health and wellness. If you do these things, you will survive the bleakness of winter and your wintertime blues.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for Winter from The Nature Cottage!