Urgh, The Winter Blues, How to Beat Them!
Let’s stop the Winter Blues this year before they ever get a chance to appear. I always have the Winter blues but apparently they are not as bad as some. So to get a jump on the blues before the blues can jump us, I found some hints and tips to give us a headstart on them this year. I believe if you give some of these tips a try, you might be amazed at how well they work. Won’t hurt to try, will it?
1. Adjust your schedule. Simply said, do less. Don’t overcommit and respect the season’s slower pace. Focus activities on the home front. Now is the time to settle into books, projects and other activities that require a long span of time. Have family game nights or invite friends over to share the fun.
2. Adjust your environment. Invest in good lead-free candles for atmosphere, and if you have a fireplace, stock up on dry, seasoned wood. Light the area you’re living or working in, but leave lights off through the rest of the house. Turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees–leave blankets throws on chairs and couches and wear slippers to keep your feet warm and layers of fleece or wool sweaters for toastiness. Make your bed with flannel sheets and thick blankets and spreads.
3. Purify your surroundings. Many houseplants are valuable for purifying the air, particularly peace lilies, rubber plants and spider plants. You might also invest in an air purifier for the bedroom and main living spaces. On warmer days, open the doors and windows to let fresh air in.
4. Embrace winter herbs and spices. Burn incense or diffuse oils in scents of cinnamon, clove, cardamon, pine or cedar. Sip herbal teas or fresh-made Chai. Simmer a kettle of hot cider or mulled wine with fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, cardamom pods and thin slices of citrus.
5. Eat for the season. Focus on grains, legumes, and warming root vegetables. Carrots are excellent for digestion, parsnips support the lungs, beets furnish elemental irons, and sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and fiber (and are delicious mashed with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar!). Try a hot cereal of oatmeal or buckwheat topped with sauteed apples or dried fruit. Enjoy roasted meats, homemade soup stock, and mugs of rich hot chocolate, each with a warming pinch of cayenne. Stewed fruit, crisps, and cobblers make delicious winter treats.
6. Pamper your body. Enjoy warm baths, adding 1 cup of Epson salts, 1 teaspoon olive oil and a few drops of essential oil to each tubful. Try lavender for relaxation or thyme or rosemary for invigoration. If you skin is dry, replace the Epsom salts with colloidal oatmeal (or blend oatmeal to a powder in your food processor). Consider a weekly “spa night” in which you pamper yourself from head to toe.
7. Feed your mind. This is a perfect time to dive into magickal study, work on garb or tool craft, or read the stack of books that’s accumulated on the nightstand. keep a daily journal to track your activities and monitor winter’s progress.
8. Stay active. Engage in slower-paced excercise, such as yoga, Tai Chi or swimming (indoors). Take bundle walks through your neighborhood, watching for the seasonal changes.
9. Serve the tribe. Take care of your own family, but reach out as well. Winter is powerful time to do volunteer work in your own community.
10. Honor Yule, Christmas, Imbolc or whatever holidays you celebrate. The winter holidays are the perfect time for lights, gifts, and greenery: Be merry and rejoice!
Honor the winter’s rhythms and you’ll feel the magickal and health benefits that come from slowing down and embracing the season as a restorative time of quiet, rest, and reflection.
Excerpts taken from:Hibernation: Embracing Winter Susan Pesznecker Llewellyn’s 2012 Witches Companion An Almanac for Everyday Living