’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. 

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