Although I use the term seasonal depression, I actually don't like it. I'd rather say winter blues. Yes, it's a real thing that a lot of people deal with, including me. I was born and raised in the Bronx, but I dreaded trucking it to school in snow up to my knees, and I dreaded my birthday. It's on the first day of fall, and almost always rains. If you know me well, you know that the only rain I enjoy is (insert Carl Thomas voice here) summer rain. My birthday is literally the beginning of the cold, wet and rainy season, and I simply can't stand it.
Between September and October, my whole mood changes. I feel less motivated, my energy decreases, and I retreat. It gets worse from November to February, and in March, my mood begins to improve when I know warmer weather is approaching. I love to be out in nature feeling Gaia's warm embrace, but I don't think anyone wants a hug from Jack Frost. It is a scientific fact that sunlight and warm weather improves happiness, and vitamin d (which us melanated people suffer from a lack of). I often wonder if it's because my ancestors were tropical people. Seriously, I'm supposed to be somewhere on the cost of Africa collecting shells on the beach while my ancestors bless me with an abundance of love and happiness.
Now that I am fully aware of this thing people call seasonal depression, I have found ways to make this time of year better. Music is my first love. When I was in middle school and high school, I used to sing a lot and even turn my poems into songs. I taught myself to play piano when I was about 5 or 6. I remember my aunt catching me sneak off into her basement to play her piano. I also play guitar, and since I don't have space for a grand piano, I bought a guitar a few years ago. My singing bowls and tongue drum are soothing instruments that I truly enjoy. Music is the soundtrack to my soul and it's necessary to keep me sane.
I do lots of yoga and mediation, but you probably already know that, huh? I can't do one without the other. They are both an important aspect of keeping my energy points (chakras) and mental state in alignment. I do yoga and meditate every morning to kick start my good vibes for the day. Natural herbs play a big part as well. Adaptogenic herbs such as holy basil, turmeric, maca and ashwagandha root, tisanes (herbal teas) and tinctures are things I take on a regular basis to improve my mood, sleep and energy levels. Salt baths are very rejuvenating as well. I don't skimp on the pink himalayan or dead sea salt.
I also love to read. I have tons of books, some I've even read multiple times. I probably buy books at least once a month. My dream is for us to buy a bigger house so that I can have a library with a tea bar, plants and a ton of natural lighting.
If it wasn't for my children needing me every 10 minutes, I'd spend hours reading.
But when I really need to get some reading time in, Dwight will keep the kids in the living room while I lock myself in our bedroom for an hour or more. He'll even bring me food and something to drink so I don't have to come out.
Despite me still hating this time of year, I am able to tolerate it doing these things. Constantly reminding myself that it's temporary helps too. I just want people to know that they are not alone, because it can often times feel that way. So if you are someone like me who deals with the winter blues, I stand with you.