winter health – balancing emotions

November 3, 2009

Winter and Emotional Balance

Winter is all around us and doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. For many of us we begin to feel the affects of the lack of light, cold temperatures and the enclosure of being indoors. The term Seasonal Affective Disorder has been tossed around for many years and is now widely accepted. SAD for short, is a mood disorder that is characterized by normal mental health throughout the majority of the year, followed by the experience of depressive symptoms in the winter months. People affected by SAD may find themselves sleeping too much, over-eating, having very little energy (even to do day to day tasks) and a general lowness, negativity or lack of care (numbness) in attitude and outlook. The factor that may be the cause is lack of light, resulting in lowered serotonin and melatonin levels in the body.

In Chinese Medicine the winter months are characterized and ruled by the “Yin” element in the balance of Yin/Yang. The Yin aspects are cold, receptive and inwards, so it is natural that we are looking within ourselves, quieting, resting more and getting in touch with our emotions. Perhaps our bodies need rest and restoration, and the rise of SAD is a sign that we push ourselves too hard, are expecting too much from ourselves and are not really listening to our inner knowledge and nature.

Take the time to look within. What is it that you really need? What does your body, mind and soul desire? What can you give to yourself to restore your inner balance? Listen and oblige.

Signs of being in winter balance are:

  • keeping warm
  • staying quiet
  • sleeping well
  • being at home
  • looking within
  • preserving energy
  • giving

Signs of being out of balance in the winter are:

  • overactive
  • late nights
  • lack of rest and sleep
  • frustration
  • hoarding

Ways to create balance include daily exercise and activity, healthy food choices, getting outdoors especially on sunny days and introspection. A supportive eating regime consisting of warming foods such as soups, root vegetables, cooked whole grains, beans and fresh water help to give your body what it requires and assists in elevating your mood (feel good foods). Healthy exercise can include outdoor walks and activities, and indoor exercises such as Yoga and Tai Chi Chuan. Take this time to look within yourself, feel and listen to your inner wisdom. What is it telling you? Begin to weave into your life what you need and want more of. Perhaps it is time for a change.

There are also a wide variety of herbs and medicine available (please consult a naturopath, herbalist and/or doctor). Many alternative therapies such as life coaching, cognitive behavior therapy, light therapy and ionized air are being utilized as well. Follow your intuition and do what feels right for you.

Alyssa Huntley

NLP – change therapy

life coaching

http://www.eleveneleven-coaching.comwinter emotional balance

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