We’ve reached the Autumn Equinox. The trees are beginning their annual shedding, the fog is rolling in, we’ve lit the beacons (pumpkin spice candles). And we’re creeping into the time period of getting up in the dark. It’s time to start transitioning the seasons.
Yes, winter IS coming and that might not necessarily fill you will joy. In fact, if you struggle at all with the seasonal shift, all of this might be filling you with dread. Fear not! We’re digging into our magic chest once more to help you build up a raft of tools to start approaching the seasonal change in a more holistic way.
Firstly, we probably need to have a quick chat about SAD a.k.a. the struggle with transitioning seasons. Some of the markers of this (according to NHS Choices) are:
- a persistent low mood
- a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
- feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
- sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
Lea’s experience of transitioning seasons:
Before I learned to embrace, and work with, seasonal shifts, I would really struggle with the transition into the darker part of the year. I would find myself getting mega sleepy in the afternoons, crave a warm cosy cave to hibernate in and have a strange sense that the Dementors from Harry Potter really do exist.
It took a loooooooong time for me to celebrate the arrival of autumn. Actually, this year is the first time I’ve ever been excited rather than be filled with dread at the arrival of autumn!
Gina’s experience of transitioning seasons:
Honestly, I never really took much notice of the change in seasons until recently. My main priority in life was always my business and I would work such crazy hours that it didn’t really matter. Unless it was particularly hot or a really great storm, it all kind of went over my head – not the healthiest way to exist!
I was still always adamant that I hated winter though because the mornings were dark and it was harder to get out of bed.
It wasn’t until I escaped to live in a van for three months over winter, that I really actually noticed the beauty of the change and what winter had to offer that summer just couldn’t.
I’m still learning about how the seasons affect me personally, as I am finally becoming aware of the changes both within me and outside. Alongside the change of colours and different smells of the rain. This year I am embracing that change and it feels great to be so much more connected to nature.
How to embrace seasonal changes with gratitude
1. Remember, you *are* nature. As without, so within.
Is it time you got more in tune with nature and the seasons? The overriding tendency in modern society is to “push through”. Every day is treated the same and that’s how society has been set up for us. But the truth is we are designed to seek more rest during the colder, darker months. To embrace the transitioning seasons and flow with them.
It is wired into our natural rhythms that we feel more tired as it gets darker earlier. Your body speaks to you and tells you when you need a little more down time. Remember, if you heed the messages your body sends you when it whispers, you wont get to the stage of having to deal with it when it screams. And besides, you are not in a battle with your body you are one: if an element of you is desperate for rest, it’s because your whole self needs it.
If you are struggling with the shift, this may be a little nudge to you from your body. A nudge to connect more deeply with the external natural world.
Get outside at every opportunity, eat more seasonally and spend some time delving into how all the natural cycles are connected. We recommend reading up on the moon cycle and learning about ancient lore surrounding nature.
There is a joy to be found in darkness. New life is formed from the dark. Seeds grow into big, beautiful and bountiful plants from the dark earth. This is a time of potential and an opportunity for you to nourish yourself more – ready to shine your light more brightly.
2. Equip yourself with tools that work for you
You might benefit from some of these tried and tested tools for combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- This SAD light is amazing. We highly recommend trying light therapy if you are struggling. Lea had one at her desk at work in the corporate world and although she had to withstand a fair amount of mockery in the beginning for her giant desk sun, the glow of her lamp spread pretty far. Even other people commented that they had felt the benefits.
- Practising good sleep patterns can be a challenge. Trying to get up at the same time each day, in the dark might be a struggle. The Lumie BodyClock helps ease the torment of getting up in the dark. In addition, make your bed early in the day, embrace the gift of yoga nidra, try to reduce screen time in the evening and use an app (this one is great) to turn off the blue light emitted from screens to minimise the impact of devices on your internal rhythms.
- The power of smell is incredible too. Pop an essential oil diffuser somewhere you spend a lot of time or walk through regularly (we like the Esta one by Made by Zen). And intuitively select smells that you’re drawn to at particular times. Your body leans towards what it needs. Our go to oil combination for SAD symptoms is orange and peppermint which is really uplifting and energising.
- Eating seasonally – we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – our local environments have much medicine that we need. Whilst foraging for rosehips and eldeberries to make vitamin packed syrups may not be wheere you’re at currently, having something like a veg box delivery each week can help you to eat more with the seasons. This time of year is amazing for squashes, mushrooms (with a healthy dose of vitamin D) and beetroots – all the goodness your body needs!
FYI this is NOT a sponsored post or an ad – any products mentioned in this post are ones we have genuinely researched and gone out and purchased – we will only ever share with you things that we have tried and loved.
Are you feeling a little like Bear of John Lewis 2013 fame too? Have any of these tips really sparked an “aha” moment for you? We’d really love to hear more about how you’re feeling today and what these darker months mean for you.