January can bring on depression. After the high from the Holiday Season, most people crash. I thought I’d offer some tips to help:
1. Trying to start something new in the dark of winter often leads to failure. I’m not sure who decided January 1 was a good time for the new year to start, but whoever it was was not a person or a culture that was in touch with Nature. In the Northern Hemisphere Nature is hibernating in January. Nature is not ready to start anything new until Spring. January is a time for going within, for getting extra rest, for self-care. So Tip Number 1 is: surrender to your lethargy. Honor it. Don’t push yourself to do more than you absolutely have to. Once you surrender to the yearning to snuggle under a blanket with a hot cup of coffee or tea and a good book or movie, you will feel your whole Spirit relax.
2. Now is a time for mind demons to surface. They want to be acknowledged, felt, seen, and healed. So allow them to surface. Take the time to look at what is causing pain in your life. Don’t judge it. Don’t resist it. Just see it. Feel it. You are an adult. You are not a helpless child. There is nothing to fear here. If a part of your life is not working, address it and come up with a plan to slowly change it. Take stock of the mind demons. Listen to what they are saying. If there is any truth there, make a plan to make life changes so that they go away. If there is no truth to what they are saying, develop the mental strength, awareness, and vigilence to no longer allow them to take up space in your brain.
3. No pushing. Now is not a time to force yourself to do anything. Again, Mother Nature is dormant now. She is not forcing or pushing. She is sleeping, gathering strength, and trusting that all will awaken and bloom in Spring. Use this time to Daydream a future you love. Plant the mental seeds. But don’t force or rush the process.
We are taught from such a young age to be in fight-or-flight. As children we are rushed to school and then to after-school activities. We are forced to please the adults around us. It is instilled in us that our self-worth is dependant on our productivity and our results. So in the dead of winter, when we should be shutting down, going within, soul-searching, hibernating, and healing . . . we feel depressed because we feel like something is wrong with us if we’re not filled with energy and motivation. We feel lost if we are questioning our future. We feel like we are missing out if we don’t have the energy to act.
But, if we slow down and honor this process . . . our Spirit lightens. It’s like suddenly getting a sick-day from work or school. So, my question for you is: How can you nurture yourself through this time of the year? What can you cross off your social calendar and to-do list? Where can you slow down? All these small changes will make a huge difference . . . and will set you up for a much more dynamic Spring.