We've all heard of the o'l SAD's amirite...
But for anyone who's been living under a rock for the last four decades, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a form of depression cause by season patterns. Usually in that of winter. It is thought to be due to lack of sunlight, and I agree but do feel there are many factors to sunshine that we do not understand yet. And one of them happens to be how we both absorb as well as to be able to store sunlight for possibly years. But I digress...
For anyone who has ever suffered the internal weather patters correlated to the harshness of winter, this message is for you.
Here are five ways you can keep yourself not only from killing yourself this winter, but also live optimally and maybe, just maybe, even enjoy the darker months a wee tiny bit.
WARM UP EACH DAY WITH A BREATH OF FIRE, SOME FOOT PUMPS AND A FEW ANTIQUE SIT UPS
KEEP WARM TEA AND HERBAL INFUSIONS FLOWING THROUGH YOU
FOCUS MORE ON SELF CARE/ SELF GROOMING/ FLOSSING YOUR TEETH, AND KEEPING YOUR EARS CLEAN
SING, DANCE, MASTERBATE
DO KIND THINGS FOR MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS AND GIVE YOURSELF CREATIVE ENDEAVORS TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Here's what your day might look like with each of these activities in place. You may find yourself connecting with breath with intention before even opening your eyes. You then begin your little foot pumps, inhale gentle toes flex up, exhale gentle toes point down. You might incorporate hand pumps as well, cause hey, when in bed (Rome)!
Once you open your beautiful eyes, clear the sand and gather your sense of reality you may now begin a few micro crunches just there, laying flat in your bed. Gently lifting even just the head, tucking the chin close to the chest. Gently inhale down exhale up. Warming up your thymus which will also warm up the upper solar plexus. Your internal sun which is available to you each and every day so long as there is breath in you.
Once you're warmed up enough to stand with ease, gently roll out of bed and get yo-self a nice hot cuppa tea with your favorite honey and creamer depending on what your vibe is. The point here really is to finish warming up your insides, waking up your internal organs and central nervous system, and providing lubrication for more fun to come.
While your tea is steeping or while you wait for it to cool, you may wish to warm up your vocals taking you AAAA....UUUU...MMMM's, maybe do a few round of kapalabhati, intensify your sit-up game, perhaps now gently upon your yoga ball. You may play an instrument or you might just put on your favorite jams and sing your lovely heart out.
Taking your time to sip on your tea in case you wish to do something without a sloshy belly, like more yogings, dancing, martial arting etc. If you're anything like me you may oscillate between them all. You may also enjoy a longer morning fast but also enjoy the dessert that is earl grey with honey and heavy whipping cream. Either way, take your time and really enjoy what you're doing for own wellbeing and enrichment.
Never underestimate the power of a warm shower or bath. Whether you're a shower person or a bath person, doesn't totally matter. Though I will say a warm epsom salt bath during the winter months can become an absolute necessity particularly for arthritis people or anyone who experiences aches and pains. It is an important way to start and/or end your day heating your topicals (AE your subtle bodies, glandular system and nerve endings) via warm water therapy. You might even warm up your vocals a bit more while you're at it. Get that dual purpose on!
A pro tip for wellness aware people is to place a drop of peroxide on a Qtip and gently place the peroxide infused Qtip in to the delicate foyer of the ear. You will hear lots of fizzing and fuzzing for a moment and it will tickle and make you wish to help release carbon from your neck shoulders and hands. You may find yourself working with the peroxide as it oxygenates the ear canals, practicing sublte neck/central nervous system movements, jaw, tongue and throat excercises to help open those most valuable canals which are responsible for clear thinking and SO much more. The fizzing will lessen after a short while, and you'll want to then flip the Qtip to the dry end and gently remove and excess fluid in or around the ear. Following it up with a tiny Qtip dip of pure coconut oil to each ear to both nourish the ears as well as to prevent any itching or dryness caused by the peroxide treatments. The coconut oil should also be followed up by the clean dry end of the Qtip to remove any excess oil that could potentially cause too much moisture.
Peroxide teatments should only be performed once a month or every two weeks at best for deep cleaning purposes, as well as anytime the first symtpoms of illness begin to present themselves. It is important to note that the vast majority of upper respiratory infections begin in the inner ear. Making peroxide an ally to curb illness and shorten the span of symptoms. You're welcome in advance!
Once you feel all the corners of self care and kindness have been swept within, it is now time to extend that true love and kindess to the world outside of you to which you are also internally connected. Weird huh...
Feeling depressed, worn out, tired or just hating everything from time to time is perfectly human.
Though, when we spend TOO much time in these states of being this is when these emotional disturbances can take a real sour turn and begin to spill over in to our family and professional lives leading to some pretty confusing and even explosive times. We do not wish this for you, anymore than we wish this on our own selves. This is in large part why we love hosting immersive yoga retreats in beautiful places. So as to provide a safety net to catch you in times of real need, and to offer real tools and methods to survival which have survived not only every world war, but thousands of years of evolutionary changes on its broader spectrum.
Redirecting depression, cognitive dissonance and rage in to ambition to better understand can really help us to get our barrings on intense emotions that would otherwise overrun our lives. Sadly this is the state of so much of the world today. And while it may not help much, please know you are not alone in your very valid and hard feelings. Know that the worst decisions made are those made under the pressures of anger, fear, anxiety and about eight seconds of irrationality. So be mindful. Follow your breath which is your greatest and oldest friend. And think about the people in your life who really love you, or who loved you in to this world, even if there aren't many. Remember that even one good friend, spouse or child is enough to keep on for. They need you no matter what age you are or however brutally you may have messed up.
And in the event that you need to get out the metephorical "big guns," and really do a good deed and spiritual overhaul on yourself and/or your loved ones, we are here to help with a like minded community awaiting to serve your greater good!
This article was written in honor of my beloved pops who killed himself last year during the autumn months. He forgot in a difficult moment that he had two daughters who love him deeply and live according to his life teachings. Suicide is not glamorous or heroic. It is messy and beyond repair. It leaves behind a deep pit of impending doom on the one's left behind. I do not chastize my dad for leaving us in such a way because I understand. I really do. But I would greatly advise not to leave the world in this way as it is absolutely contagious and leaves an outstanding stain upon the fabric of universaly memory. And it can take many life times to correct.