The seasons of fall and winter are anything but glittering, glowing and cheerful for some. There might be days it is hard to even fake a smile. Longer dark periods in our day mean less sun and usually less physical activity. Cancelled plans to connect with those we love and are loved by, or snow days with unexpected interruptions can leave our love buckets running a little more empty. Seasonal based issues are a real struggle for many people and while we encourage partnering with your healthcare professional for extreme cases, there are some easy steps you can take back power to support yourself too!
Supplements, Exercise & the “S” Word
Staying active is important. Find an moving activity you enjoy whether it is a neighborhood walk or CrossFit and stay committed. Put it in your planner as an appointment so it doesn’t get avoided or bumped.
Steer clear of sugar. Yeah, THAT “S” word. The fall and winter months, when most people struggle with seasonal depression, are the highest sugar consuming months of the year with holidays that center around goodies and treats. Avoid or greatly limit sugar if you struggle with seasonal moods.
Most people, even if they don’t struggle with seasonal depression, are deficient in Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D. Connect with your healthcare provider to see if this is a possibility for you. We supplement year round although I lighten the Vitamin D amount in the summer when we are getting more direct rays, which brings me to the next natural tool!
I know, it’s the middle of the 68th week of winter. How am I suppose to get more sunlight?! First, get what you can. A 20 minute walk outside with fresh air and the sun warming your face (while the rest of you is under 17 layers) can’t be discounted! Second, there are amazing sunrise lamps that you can purchase that come in all shapes and options. Some are just like regular lights, others are light alarm clocks allowing you to wake with the light and re-regulate your system.
Fill Your Love Bucket
This is an important one. Fill your bucket. What makes you smile? A walk, reading, coffee with a friend, Skype lunch with your partner, hide-and-seek with your kiddos? Whatever it is that makes your heart smile, invest there. Like exercise, put it in your planner or calendar and do NOT let it get bumped. I found this exercise helpful not only for myself but for my kids too! Since I know each of their love languages, I intentionally connect with them on a daily basis to fill their buckets. Communicating as a family what you need to have your bucket filled is not only great life/social skill development, but teaches them investing meaningfully into each other. Plus, kids are just creative and have the best ways of filling up buckets!
Last, but not least, is using aromatherapy to effectively support these seasonal lows. When I am working with people who desire to naturally support their seasonal sadness, that leans more toward worry and a deep sense of feeling paralyzed, I like to start with blends that contain citrus oils like lime or grapefruit. They generally love Summer Breeze or Get Happy. Kids love these blends too! If the seasonal moods tend to lead to zero motivation and focus, I love grounding oils like Frankincense and Cedarwood always in combination with uplifting oils like Neroli or Davana so that we are creating stability without deepening the sadness. Blends like Follow the Star or Ignite are really helpful in this! Here are some more individual essential oil ideas.
As a bonus tip, when you are using aromatherapy to directly support and impact mental or emotional well-being, here are two ways you can enjoy added benefits:
- Make a declaration – create a positive focus and intention about your situation or mood. It can be as simple or detailed as you want. As you diffuse the blend or essential oil (or use in an aromastick) repeat your declaration OUT LOUD.
- Experience – for this application, diffuse or inhale the essential oil or blend while you are activating either an activity that fills your love bucket or increases your connection to the world around you.
I hope these simple points are helpful as you seek to support your emotions and mental happiness transitioning through seasonal changes.**If you’re interested in the essential oil blends mentioned in this post you can purchase them at www.scentsablehealth.com and come join our thriving social communities on Facebook and Instagram!**