’Tis the Season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

As the Christmas lights go up in the tree, the snowfall becomes increasingly more frequent, you get the lovely bulky snow tires on your ride for safety, and the holiday frenzies begin in preparation for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. 

We are used to these cycles, we look forward to them, we count down to them. But just like we know that Santa Claus is comin’ to town on the 25th of December, and baby Jesus’ birthday is celebrated… we know all too well the cyclical pattern that occurs in the moods of those living more in the Northern Hemisphere, that affects every single cell of their body, mind and soul. 

The darkness descends when the sunlight goes down earlier in the evening. 

The trees feel it too, except the mighty luscious evergreens that never lose their light. The rest all look listless, overburdened, weighed down and frozen like icicles, but yet still shining and  shimmering like diamonds under their frost-bitten coat. 

The crisp cool winds add some speed to your step. And the fifty shades of grey you can see in the sky, hug the horizon and envelop the world like a great big present.  

Even though there is a lot of glad tidings, gratefulness and cheer at this time of the year, simultaneously many of us feel an internal heaviness or gloom, spreading like a dark deep shadow over our soul, a sensation of sadness. Everything can feel gloomier at this time of the year, especially if you suffer or have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and it can only get worse as the winter drags on. 

Let’s face it, the warmth of sunshine, the comfortable heat that caresses your body is like a constant hug that you feel during the spring, summer and fall months. Lifting your mood, lightening your step and warming your soul and all those around you that you love. 

Whereas the snowballing of winter, although beautiful, feels cold, numbing and disconnecting to the inner love you have for yourself. 

This is especially difficult for people that are super in touch with their environment and sensitive to changes around them. I’ve noticed that SAD affects mostly those people who are very artistic and expressive. Perhaps they are an artist like Pablo Picasso, or perhaps they dress in a very creative way like Elton John, perhaps they are a thinker or a scientist like Einstein, or a great clothing, hand bag and shoe designer like Kate Spade (who took her life last winter). This time of the year, almost like the hibernation of the bear, can move us deep into a darkness that overwhelms and pushes us into despair. 

Mainly because we notice things slowing down… You feel less energy, you want to stay indoors, even your poops slow down. You may not go as often. To learn about what your poo says about you, download my 50 Shades of Poo and start the journey. 

Your metabolism isn’t optimal, you feel like you gain 10 lbs every winter. Well hey, what do you expect? You’re not outside, not as active, plus you’re hibernating, just like the bear. 

This is all a natural cycle of quiet, rest and preparation for the blossoming springtime. 

The only problem is that it can freeze some of us in its wake. We begin to feel hopeless, unhappy, dark, almost like we have lost our inner sunlight and now the darkness has set in. 

What’s super important at this time of the year is to notice how you are feeling and be open to those light bulb moments, realizing that you possess everything you need to change how you feel, so you can feel better. 

Like Oprah and her favorite things, I’ve found a few of my favorite things that you can do to help your SAD transform to GLAD…. Here are my favorite things to keep the sunshine in your step this season.

FEED ME SUNSHINE!!!!!!

Necessities include adequate levels of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin), proper exposure to light, and most importantly, minding what you say to your mind! When there is absence of the sun it’s an important time to connect with your soul and come to some amazing realizations about yourself that everything you need is found within and that you are your own best inner sunshine. 

To help you come to this realization faster, more promptly, say this to yourself:

“I am the sunshine that grows my dreams, I walk in faith with grace and light, no matter the darkness that surrounds me. I am my own sunshine! “

Write yourself love letters saying this. You can put it in your calendar, send yourself texts, say this to yourself out loud while you look into the mirror. Physically send it by mail. Yes, by mail! Say a prayer before bed and include this command.  

Over time, this will sink into your subconscious, and even though you don’t initially feel like you are much of a ray of sunshine, over time you WILL begin to believe it and when you do, you will feel better and be sunny, just like a ray of sunshine. 

You truly are all the sunshine you need, it is all within you and moves through you! For real, you just need to learn how to turn it on, just like a lightbulb, and this is the recipe. It’s super easy, but you need to have faith and do the action in order for this to sink in and your sun light to start beaming, warming you, hugging you and brightening up the 50 shades of grey we see in the sky at this time of the year. 

Practice Your Health Practice – SLEEP 

Sleep is the most important health practice. This keep your rhythms in sunshine mode. Sleep sets the tone, it heals us, keeps our body clean, and resets everything, especially your sunshine!!! 

Here’s what I do to make my sleep solid! 

I have a kick a** routine that includes my Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack, because it helps me sleep better but also benefits me through the day to poop better, cleanse better, bloat less and stress less so I look and feel better! 

The castor oil pack also stimulates the production of oxytocin, the love and connection molecule that calms our stress and literally feels like great big hug! So when you’re missing the hug of the heat from the sun… there is always a way to make it happen! 

Wearing a sleep mask to bed naturally increases your melatonin. Because of the change in daylight in the northern hemisphere, it can have an effect on our natural melatonin production. 

An eye mask helps you to naturally increase melatonin before you go to bed. When the sun goes down at 5 o’clock, you start to produce melatonin, but by the time you actually go to bed at night, your stores are depleted. Wear the mask to stimulate production and my Queen of the Thrones™ Beauty Sleep Eye Kit will also help to improve eyelash and eyebrow growth, and naturally boost the gentle area around the eyes, reducing the visible signs of aging like darkness under the eyes.  

Now whenever we are weighed down by a health concern, or simply don’t feel good, don’t forget to get checked out by your doctor just in case!

Make sure to get checked out for anemia (low iron), vitamin D levels, B12 and folate (especially if you’re a vegetarian), food sensitivities and your hormones. These can all affect how you are feeling. 

So there you have it, it’s your time to shine, don’t you think? Living your life in hibernation mode is over, you are meant to shine your big bright light in our world and be sunny like the sunshine to all those that you come in contact with. Because you matter, your gifts matter to the world and all you need to learn is how to nurture your inner light. 

Shine baby, shine, like a super nova…. 

No one can do it like you and no one can do it better! xoxo 

Love, left sided hugs and all the sunshine—- Dr. Marisol xoxo 

This blog was inspired by my patients that suffer from seasonal affective disorder and one of my fave instagrammers, @thebirdspapaya, sharing her beautiful creative artistic daughter’s struggles with seasonal affective disorder, and Oprah… because she loves her favorite things… and these are mine for seasonal affective disorder. 

How to Protect Yourself from EMFs

When I was younger, I suffered severely with anxiety. In fact, what dictated a lot of the damage done to me in my youth was an actual misdiagnosis of asthma instead of anxiety. This put me on a trajectory of being drugged up with prednisone, supremely overweight, constipated and losing faith in my body’s ability to heal, or do what I was supposed to do in this world. 

I look back on those times, grateful, because they moved and motivated me to where I am now; educating and empowering others in their health. That feels good, I’m so happy to be of service – and it’s all because of those painful situations when I was younger. 

We didn’t know it was anxiety until years later. I was frustrated with never feeling better, especially when I was taking all of these medicines that were supposed to fix me. My mother decided to take me off of everything. So we did, and we learned to sit in a corner in our home and relax. It was the first form of cognitive behavioural therapy that I got, a well known method of dealing with anxiety. 

Patterns in Anxiety

As I got older, still struggling with anxiety, mood swings and the sequelae of an irritable bowel, I noticed that the severity of the anxiety was really based on certain locations where I was at. 

The home I grew up in was a place of major anxiety for me. I thought it was just because I was part of a Spanish family, full of piss and vinegar and passion. 

But at the beach or in South America at my extended family’s homes, I would be in complete balance. Feeling better than ever, uber creative and in the zone, my vibe. So it couldn’t be the family dynamics? It had to be the house I was living in. 

The condo I was living in while I was going to school in Toronto also caused me to be severely overwhelmed by anxiety, but only in the last two years I was there. 

Location Based Anxiety

I put two and two together and realized that the places where I felt the worst, for example my condo in Toronto, had a common denominator. You see, in my third year of school, a cell phone tower was added to the top of my condo building. Years later I realized that the home of my youth where I grew up, actually had an electricity farm in our backyard that powered the mines of Northern Ontario. 

I realized I always felt much better by the beach, it was actually my safe haven where I felt so wonderful. Years late I learned that the sand and salt actually neutralizes EMFs – A.K.A. electromagnetic frequencies. 

EMF Anxiety

So what are the EMFs that had me in an anxiety frenzy?

In the simplest of words, they are the frequencies of electricity and energy. They follow what is known as a sine wave pattern. Energy is all around us, wherever there is electricity or wires, cells phones or cell phone towers. 

In fact, I was so in the know about how these affect me that when I found the location for my clinic, I made sure, I actually physically mapped out where all the nearest energy towers and cell phone towers were and tried to stay between 1-3 km away. I was successful, and it’s one of the reasons that my clinical space is such a sanctuary. It’s got good vibes that aren’t corrupted by dirty electricity. 

Even though the wires are insulated, energy still escapes and radiates around it. They call this energy ‘dirty electricity’. The stuff that doesn’t stay in the insulated areas. The closer that you are to the power towers, wires, or cellphone towers etc, the more you may notice an impact on your body – if you’re sensitive (not everyone is). But if you are, you notice it greatly. 

We are energetic beings, we have a frequency, a vibration. Everything does, because at the root of it all we are made up of atoms, electrons and protons, and they all have a vibration. So imagine it like this; if the ground is vibrating underneath you, like in an earthquake, heavens to Betsey you are going to vibrate too! It knocks you off your rocker, so to say. 

Therefore anxiety, and other such symptoms can become the result. 

The tools that helped me overcome were these: 

1. Staying away from locations with EMFs

Obviously I couldn’t do this every time, but I try my best! I also have my wifi router set on a timer to shut off every night to limit the amount of time it’s on. 

2. Castor oil packs

Because they set the foundation for better health, you are more resilient with what comes at you, including EMFs! Get your’s here.

3. Wearing a sleep mask to bed

This helped me to naturally increase my melatonin[1] which is one way that you can get better sleep and have more resistance against dirty electricity. Get your’s here.

Since I couldn’t wear my castor oil pack or my eye mask all day, I found this amazing tool that has been shown to reduce the impact of the EMFs. 

4. Wearing my Harmoni Pendant

My great friend and detox expert Wendy Myers has a beautiful chain, that looks much better than anything else that is available on the market to protect from EMFs! It is easy to put on every day and helps you feel better!! 

The Harmoni Pendant was designed to harmonize the body’s natural electrical frequencies and energetic pathways. It works so well that it’s worn by many professional athletes (and yours truly!). The pendant’s unique properties also convert harmful manmade EMFs that come into the body’s field into gentler and more harmonious frequencies. 

By wearing an EMF protector on your body, you are not only protecting yourself from the EMFs emitted from by your own devices, but also all of the harmful EMFs around you. 

Get your’s here!

Also – fun fact, the jewelry designer of the Harmoni Pendant is the same designer who made jewelry for the Game of Thrones cast for the TV show. So cool! They are stunning. 

Personal Triggers

So you see there are many roads that lead to Rome, the important part is to find out what are your personal triggers, what irritates and bothers your natural predisposition and to get educated and empowered to do something about it. 

I hope you take action here and enjoy these wonderful tools for your health! Plus they make great presents for those you love. xoxo. 

References:

 Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

Gratitude in Tough Times | Three Steps to a Grateful Life

Dr. Marisol holding sign that says she needed a hero so that's what she became

Gratitude is a practice that although may seem intuitive, is something that so many of us are out of practice with. So often we struggle with gratitude, we fall into the mindset, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” 

But it wasn’t always this way. Gratefulness was how we survived! If you look at scriptures, the bible, religious and historical texts… Even the practice of saying grace before a meal, or being polite and using your manners with a ‘thank you’, ‘gracias’, ‘merci’! it is embedded into our psyche. Deep into our primordial brains, just like our cravings for food and sugar. 

The Most Powerful Health Strategy

This means it is a natural flow (not force as is commonly said) of habit, that just may be buried in your life. BUT, what we can do is reconnect easily to those patterns of thinking in the brain. Let me tell you, gratitude delivers more benefit than any other health strategy you can imagine, well, along with castor oil packs, they too fit into the Royal Road to Richness.  

beautiful minds inspire others

Why does it get buried? We struggle because we aren’t present, our mind is always somewhere else. Why do you think they say, ‘take time to stop and smell the roses’? But we don’t because we are so dang busy! Busy busy busy, like a busy bee. Though the bee may be busy, it is still focused, its full attention is on creating the hive.

It is part of the natural laws, to be grateful and focus on where you are going. Putting yourself in the energy of the ‘you’ that you want to be everyday. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be negative, depressed, unhappy, not living your true self. Quite the opposite – you want to feel good, feel better, love and adore yourself. You want to be at peace; you want to be you. 

So if you WANT that, then you have to put yourself into that energy. The gateway to self love is GRATEFULNESS. 

Allow grace in today. When you do, your outlook changes from one that is…

Negative to Positive

Half Empty to Half Full 

Fear to Wonder

Sadness to Happiness 

It’s super transformative and once you delve into this you will never go back. 

Gratitude in the Tough Times

For me in my life right now, it can sometimes feels like a deep, dark sink hole. I’ve been spending much of my time at my father’s bedside in the hospital. I came across this old photo of us together and my heart feels very heavy. 

Marisol and her father when she was a kid

You see, he had a stroke, close to the one year anniversary of my mother’s sudden death by a stroke. I’m working all of my magic, and it’s working… physically, he’s improving! I’m even helping him work on his mindset and trying to keep him focused on being grateful and in the moment. So appropriate, but he doesn’t want it. He can’t see the grace in his small gains. He doesn’t see a purpose in his future without my mom, so why live? 

I get it. It’s hard to lose your life partner. The issue is the impression he has in his brain. 

He thinks within a year of your partner passing, you should die, too. I asked him, “Who told you that? He said “well ‘they’ did… it’s written somewhere”. So I broke that paradigm down. 

He thinks he is doing worse every day… mentally, yes. But physically, hell no! He has reversed his diabetes. He can walk again, every time a little better, minus his balance and a bit of dementia. 

If I can shift his thought process he will be saved, but for him, maybe being saved is floating up into my mothers arms. 

Marisol and her father in the hospital

I respect that, I understand… but while he is in his physical body, I appreciate all of my knowledge, because if there is anyone that can fix a system and mind the garden of the mind, it’s me… 

My dad has been the very best coach without even knowing it… Hey, he birthed me! 

Three Steps to a Grateful Life

So I have a three step formula to help get a gratitude practice started in your life that will last you a lifetime and benefit you in ways you couldn’t even imagine.

Step 1: Smell the roses and notice what you are noticing – presence is truly step one when it comes to gratitude. This is one of the teachings of the Benedictine Monk, Brother David.

Step 2: Do the Grateful Dining Practice – before each meal hold onto your Grateful Dung™ Bracelet and recite three things you are grateful for. The reason I love implementing gratitude  practices before meals is two fold:

  1. It calms your nervous system down before you have a meal. This helps with your digestion, inner nourishment and even elimination – all major keys to the wealth of health. 
  2. Creation of a habit – there is no greater habit that eating. We must eat, instinctively we are drawn to it. So if we piggy back a habit onto one that is already firmly established, it becomes that much easier to adapt it into your daily life. You will start with doing it before you dine. For must of us this will be 2-3 times per day. If you snack and eat all day long, you will do it before every time!
    *** SIDE BENEFIT*** You will get more in touch with your body and realize you don’t need to be munching and snacking all day! 
Marisol holding a salad and Grateful Dung Bracelet

Step 3: Roll with it – make it a game, Life should truly be laughed at and don’t take yourself so seriously, just flow with it. Bring that childlike wonder back into your life. Over the 7 days – don’t repeat the same things that you are grateful for, it needs to be real and different every time (trust me, you might think you’ll run out of things to be grateful for… I promise you, you will not!) Actually you will be amazed at how many things there are to be grateful for.

So instead of forcing a new habit… Let’s just flow into this habit of gratefulness that benefits us by embracing us with grace, joy and happiness.