What do you do when Old Man Winter just hangs on, fitfully spewing storms at us in between bouts of surprisingly warm sunshine?
My two cents: embrace it.
Oh, you want maybe fifty cent's worth? OK!
Autumn and winter, which are so miserable for so many, is contrary to the GO! GO! GO! we usually live. This is slow. slow. slow.
You're perfectly welcome to be miserable about it. Or you can embrace it. It's your choice.
A few years ago I heard Dr. Dan Gottleib on NPR talking with a caller about depression. She had been describing the weight of it dragging her down, driving her into the ground. He suggested that maybe she could look at it as the earth holding her up.
The visual I took away from that, of laying down and being cocooned between the weight of the world, like a muffling blanket, and the everlasting solidity of the planet, like a big hand holding a tiny baby, has given me some peace in dark times.
That mental picture, plus how much I love candles and hot drinks and my mermaid tail lap blanket and even the sight of falling snow, gets me through the cloudy days. What tiny bits of this not-summer weather do you like?
I decided to round up the seasonal writings of others who have inspired me, and proven to be more eloquent than me, too:
Maia Toll wrote a beautiful piece on Seasonal Sadness, with some on-point herbal suggestions in it. She asks, will you be abducted or willingly seduced by the smoky depths of autumn?
The Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism has a great piece on Ground Ivy, a useful and underrated remedy for upper body lymphatic movement. I never thought of it for tinnitus, which I've had since a fantastic (cough, cough) throat infection last year.
Maria Noel Groves always encourages us to get outside. I have to say, I agree. This weekend was very blah for me, then the 5 minutes I spent outside covering my windshield against a forecasted wintry mix turned the whole thing around. Who knew? (Maria did!) Here is the browser version of her latest newsletter.
Reading My Tea Leaves has a list of ways to ward off Seasonal Depression that I really enjoy. They're very hygge-inspired.
Hygge? No, not hygiene, stupid autocorrect. This is a favorite topic of mine this time of year- the Scandinavian idea of being cozy and content with good food and good friends. And they know something about surviving dark winters.
I saw this inspiring book at the Doylestown Bookshop. For those of you who feel better with busy hands, these are crafts and recipes to take you right through to spring. There's everything from making crochet lace necklaces to forcing blooms on forsythia and other early flowers.
One final thing: Pennsylvania is a beautiful place. I'll bet wherever you are is pretty too. Take a second and look out your window, or even step outside. Look around and smell the air. Find something right now that makes the corners of your eyes relax. That's all 'embracing the season' means. You can do that.
Fun Fact: I'm an herbalist and a movement coach. Not a doctor, or a pharmacist, and not pretending to be one on TV.
This is a public space, so my writing reflects my experiences and I try to stay general enough so it might relate to you. This does not constitute medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss concerns with your doctor. Remember, however, that the final say in your wellness decisions are always yours- you have the power to choose, you are the boss of you.
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This website is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition. Working with us is not a guarantee of any results. Paula Billig owns all copyrights to the materials presented here unless otherwise noted.