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Archive for November, 2009

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Posted in Uncategorized on November 14th, 2009 by carol – 2 Comments

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Getting Nourishment in the Colder Months

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

It’s a rainy, November day. I thought this would be a good day to talk about nurturing the self through darker months. Many suffer from SAD this time of year, or feel an extra stress of family gatherings, less light, or the chill of winter.

In summer, it is a time for many of being externally fed by warmth, sun, growing plants and flowers, the feel of grass or sand on bare feet.The cold months, although certainly not devoid of it’s own pleasures, can be a more introverted time.

Winter, especially, is a time of going inward, or hibernating. So, what can we do to raise our spirits or feel filled up? Many struggle with how to nurture themselves or do not recognize what behaviors do this which are already present. Without recognition, one cannot increase those behaviors consciously.

All of us regenerate in different ways. There are some general catagories, however, that you may recognize you feel more drawn to. A few of those areas might be¬† movement, creativity, human contact, animal contact, community, or contributing. Let’s look at each for some places to increase the lightness of being during this time of year.

First of all, movement is especially important if you suffer from anxiety or depression. Exercise has been proven over and over again to rival anti-depressants in effectiveness¬† in reducing symptoms of mood disorders. Exercise in all its forms can lead to lower cortisol levels, higher levels of serotonin, and a variety of other “feel good” biochemical reactions. Whether you like to dance, run, stretch, play games, or other movement-related tasks,…moving 30 minutes a day is a great place to start.

Creativity is another great way to purge difficult or stuck feelings. It’s also fun! There are so many ways to be creative with all the ideas online, in craft stores, or through art classes. Maybe you have a friend who would be willing to make a craft date with you or teach you a skill. Maybe it’s a more private experiment you undertake. However you bring something into the world-you are creating already. See how good it feels!

Contact with other “beings”, whether human, animal, or nature based can enrich our lives tremendously. No matter how solitary we may be, we all need this. Sometimes trauma can move us away from wanting to be with others or we have a difficult time tolerating this. It’s still important to have people we have built trusting relationships with. Our animal friends give us unconditional love, so they can be a little easier to allow closeness with. They are very healing for many. And nature is always waiting for us to step outside and enjoy the blessing available with the trees, water bodies, rocks, and more.

Contributing is a great way to get out of a funk or to make a difference. Think about your values and interests and decide what is the most moving place for you to start. There are countless people, causes, places, and more that need our efforts and interest. When we are giving back, we are going to know that it matters we get up in the morning, and it feels great!

Community is available to us if we take time to decide whom it is we wish to join hearts with. There are many sub-communities and the larger community that we belong to. Maybe this is a time you explore if you have enough sense of belonging in one, and create more community based experiences if not. There are many publications or resources online to find groups to join, efforts to join,….and if you don’t like the first or second one you try~keep going!

Although its a less extroverted time of year for many, this can be a very rich time of going inward and discovering what is missing from your life experience. The shift from outward to inward is difficult, but there are treasures within all of us that the darkness helps us find.