Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects up to 9.7% of Americans. Also known as the Winter Blues, I have managed this personally for the last 33 years by a combination of the following:
1. St. John's Wort - While does not make me euphoric by any means, gives me an even keel. I find it most effective taking it at least one month before my regular symptoms appear in February.
2. Sleep - Hibernation is my friend. I sleep anywhere from 9 to 12 hours plus take naps during the winter time. Way better than checking out on drugs, alcohol or any other escape mechanism. Plus, I look so young with all that beauty rest!
3. Sunshine - There is a reason why I live in California. However, I remember when I was a kid living rainy, cold Luxembourg my parents buying a tanning lamp to give all of us a seasonal boost.
4. Vitamin D - Of course is naturally produced by being in the sun, but what with global warming and polar vortex conditions, consider supplementing your regime. Vitamin C is also our friend, boosting immunity.
5. Aromatherapy - Orange, bergamot, and lemon all uplift the spirits. Combine with a carrier oil and use as either a room spray or body spray. Check for allergies first!
6. Stop drinking alcohol - Quite simply it is a depressant. Again, like taking herbs, I find it most effective if I stop drinking one month before I usually experience my winter blues.
7. Wear bright colors - I find myself reaching into the closet for the grey and black clothing, reflecting my inner landscape. Deliberately choosing to wear purples, reds, yellows, and other bright colors helps me "fake it until I make it."
8. Orgasm - I went to a workshop on tantra and what I remember the most is to engage in self pleasure, even if you do not feel like it. The hormones and neuro-transmitters released are the same for happiness and feeling in love. Apparently sex is better than valium!
9. Reiki/Massage - Intrinsic touch is crucial to human happiness, especially if you are single or choose not to engage in tip number 8.
10. Smile/Laugh - another "fake it till you make it" technique, I schedule a lot of lunches with colleagues and make an effort to hang out with my friends more, as being isolated simply leads to that spiral of depression. Watch funny movies/tv shows/internet sites, avoid the news/radio/facebook, be super selective.
11. Hypnosis /Meditate - I have discussed this before in my post "Meditate, Don't Medicate". Taking the time to set your intentions, experiencing deep relaxation, letting go of stress and simply allowing yourself to be present are soothing, healing and comforting. Check out my YouTube video "A Simple Self Hypnosis Technique" for more information.
12. Exercise - another way to release those feel good endorphins, a twenty minute walk can do wonders for your mood. On rainy days I do the "Just Dance" program on the Wii. Shake it up!
I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 15, a label I have struggled with ever since. In the last couple of decades I have boiled it down from year around symptoms to the month of February, mostly the last two weeks. The first of March has become to signify the beginning of Spring, not just on the earth but truly the rebirth of my psyche. Rather than resisting the dark of winter, I have created a way to move through. Much like knowing it is inevitable that I will get a cold or the flu, I strive to bolster my immune systems - physical and emotional. I accept this time much like accepting being premenstrual, however, I know there are ways to alleviate the symptoms and create better mental health.
Please note: This is not meant to be a substitute for any medical or therapeutic advice. Do what is best for you, but please, create a support system for your self. You deserve a healthy happy life and can manage your emotions without having them manage you!
Today we have the new moon in Aquarius, and we enter the Year of the Wood Horse. Horse energy is about creating stability, loyalty, and being true to yourself. What can you do to develop your self this year? Horses are kind, loving creatures with an amazing ability to heal all those who come into contact with these gentle giants. Hard workers, horses are also playful, so this year remember to balance both work and play. Consistency, patience, and remaining on your path are encouraged now, which will manifest an abundance of health and well being.
In his book "Ageless Wisdom, Timeless Mind" Deepak Chopra discovered that the people who lived the longest were not necessarily the lowest in weight, but the most consistent in their weight. Yoyo dieting and being on the pendulum swing of gaining/losing twenty pounds over and over again is extremely hard on the heart. Notice what you can do to love the body you have now, and practice agents and gradual system of weight management rather than reoccurring goals to be a certain number on the scale. Consistent exercise, such as a daily walk, and a moderate diet that emphasizes eating breakfast and consuming more plant based proteins will serve you better in the long run.
Plant some seeds today: seeds of love, seeds of peace, seeds of change, and of course, some seed money. Focus on your intentions, nourish your dreams, and look forward to harvesting the abundance this spring and summer.
- Q: What is hypnosis and how does it work? A: Hypnosis is a very natural process of entering a state of deep relaxation. This helps your subconscious mind become more attentive, receptive to suggestion, and open to change. All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. Over a series of hour long sessions, Kayla will guide you to master an ability you already have. Once you have learned how to enter and use your trance state, you can use it to change aspects of your behavior and achieve your desired goals.
- Q: How can I be sure I can be hypnotized? A: You enter some form of hypnosis several times a day, like when you are driving and pass your turn-off because you haven't been paying attention, or being absorbed in a good book. Everyone goes through natural, altered states before they fall asleep, and as they come into wakefulness. During your session you are aware, not asleep, and in touch with your core values and beliefs. It is easy to communicate and it is easy to come out it - you are always in control.
- Q: How many sessions will I need? A: Resolving your issue will depend on the issue itself, as well as on your commitment to change. Typically, you will know within 3 sessions whether Hypnotherapy is effective for you. Sessions may be recorded for home practice.
- Q: How often should I schedule sessions? A: The goal is to teach you simple, effective self hypnosis techniques. Depending on the client's motivation and commitment to change, some clients visit each week, some monthly, others come as often as they see fit to address their needs.
- Q: How can hypnosis help me to quit smoking? A: Smoking is an interesting habit- people quit smoking for as many reasons as they started smoking, and hypnosis is helpful in changing any habit. Hypnotherapy allows you to discover the deeper purpose behind smoking and how to fulfill that purpose in a new, healthier, deeply satisfying way. Because all of this is happening in your own imagination, it is always the perfect right solution for you.
- Q: What else should I do? A: Drink water; Practice what you learn in sessions, especially the self-hypnosis technique; Keep a journal; Balance work and play; Breathe deep; Check in with other healers for a holistic experience - ask for a referral for any service you may need at this time.
- Q. How well does hypnosis work for habit cessation? A. Just as people develop habits for many different reasons, people also desire to stop their habits for just as many reasons. Through a combination of guided imagery and regression healing, you will find changing your habits easy and with long term results.
- Q. What is Hypnosis used for? A. Anytime you would like to feel focused, have a goal to achieve, or want to check in with your deeper self. Whether accessing your inner coach for true motivation, or inner couch for deep relaxation, discover how hypnosis can serve you.