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March 23, 2019

You’re not the Only one Feeling Depressed: how to Emerge from a Season of Sadness, according to Ayurveda.

It’s natural for humans to get more sad, lonely, heavy, and depressed around the winter season.

The external stress factors, like holidays, family, and extra celebrations, can leave people feeling agitated, alone, and ill. Often, we eat to cope or indulge too much and forget to be mindful of our inner state and what’s actually driving us to behave as we do. 

Although it’s common to gain weight, have mental issues, and have our own winter seasonal challenges, with some mindfulness we can better understand our discomforts and tackle our health and well-being in order to thrive better and survive the winter.

Finding yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation changed my life, my health, and everything about how I view life. As I learned to quiet my mind, get out of my own way, and deal with my monkey mind and deep emotions I felt, I also learned how to heal my digestive issues and feel better with myself. 

Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, helps us understand the seasons and how we all individually relate to the natural cycles of nature. To live healthily and in harmony, Ayurveda teaches us to refine and regulate our lifestyle so we can live more balanced lives and not allow the seasonal polarity to affect us or cause us mental and emotional health distress.

Everyone has the ability to overcome depression, sadness, and other negative emotions and thoughts. Our bodies harbor our past experiences, trauma, and other things that cause heaviness and physical disorders. We all can be responsible for developing our own strength and resilience in order to be able to truly live in a content and mindful way.

Our Western culture has yet to integrate Eastern medicine into our mainstream mind-set. With mental health issues rising, we all can become more proactive in our wellness needs. By learning to live in sync with nature, and understand how our minds, our bodies, our emotions, and our environment are all connected, we can learn to manage ourselves better.

Yoga, Ayurveda, mindfulness, meditation, and awareness can all help us resolve seasonal affective disorders and teach us how to overcome mental and emotional challenges.

We can remain healthy by creating a lifestyle that enhances our well-being and helps us create balance through exercise, diet, and attitude. When we consume too much alcohol and sugar and load our bodies with toxins and junk foods, we often overwhelm our systems and cause distress, depression, and anxiety.

Our life choices and what we put into our bodies radically affect how we feel and how we function.

The more sensitive we become, the more likely we experience deeper emotions and can spin out in mental imbalances. For naturally creative and empathic people, we must be especially mindful of our habits and behaviors because it greatly affects our body, mind, and spirit.

We create disease and dysfunction when we are unaware of our unique body and soul alignment and cannot manage our inner mental and emotional state in a positive manner.

According to Ayurveda, winter is the season of letting go. It’s when we all hibernate and need time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. We pack on pounds easier when we don’t allow our bodies the time and lifestyle to properly cope with the season. Our body processes old emotions and experiences from the year, and uses the wintertime to help us resolve, process, and cleanse anything it needs. Our body heals in our sleep. We naturally feel a desire to lay in bed longer, sleep in, and hopefully take time for regular self-care during the cooler weather. 

However, for the body to heal, we all must be willing to feel and allow the emotions and energy in the body to be cleared. We can only let go when we let ourselves fully integrate the unresolved emotional patterns back into our psyche.

Contrary to common thought, it’s totally natural to feel a bit sad, lonely, depressed, and off during the winter months, and especially in March as we transition to spring. We all go through a big shift, and we all detox on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. It can manifest as mental imbalances, illness, congestion, colds, sore muscles, and more.

Learning to live in tune with nature can help us understand our body and illnesses. We can have a better understanding of what we are experiencing, what we are feeling, and how to actually allow ourselves to overcome our mental/emotional issues naturally. We can accept our imbalances, feel our emotions, and heal ourselves by trusting what our body is processing. We don’t necessarily need medications to help our well-being. What we often need is someone to talk to, communicate with, and a way to express whatever we are internalizing. 

Trusting the ebb and flows of the season, and being conscious of how we react to the seasonal shifts, help us understand what we are going through. We can all live more in harmony by integrating Ayurveda and shifting the language around what health is. We were born sensitive, intuitive, and emotional creatures. Some people naturally feel energy more and are affected by it. Everyone can learn how to adjust to the highs and lows of life and intelligently maintain their mental and emotional states.

In Ayurveda, the spring is when we emerge and start a new year, a new cycle, and have an internal and external reset. We leave bonds of the past, are forced to confront patterns, and can help ourselves live better by becoming aware of our inner and outer states.

We can emerge from winter stronger, lighter, and with new health and vitality, to create a new beginning—if we are willing to help ourselves grieve and heal the past to allow our mind and body to fully release and let go.

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author: Kali Bliss

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Editor: Kelsey Michal