It’s October now and although in my part of the world we’ve been having unseasonably sunny weather until very recently, I’m bracing myself for Autumn. It’s not my favourite season. It leads inexorably to Winter, which I associate with illness, darkness, and death. Cheery huh?
In the past I’ve spent the darker months focusing on sleeping and eating and generally enacting my own form of hibernation, hunkering down to get through a low time of year.
This year I’m trying to face it more optimistically and embrace the opportunities of seasonal change rather than fight against them. Yoga practice is a lesson in ‘now’ and an observation of continual changes. So this could be a season-long lesson in santosha (contentment), accepting the reality, and finding some peace with how it is rather than whinging about what it’s not. I can’t turn the stars and planets to align with me and it’s not possible to head to the southern hemisphere for winter this year. Poor me!
So what to do instead?
I’m going to try a few strategies to make friends with Autumn-Winter this year:
my SAD lamp has always been my best friend. Time to buy new bulbs for it and embrace its uplifting light every morning. It might be artificial but it does actually make a difference
- remember that the changing seasons offer new natural goodies in my weekly veg box, and make sure I eat what I need to during the colder months (weirdly two people at work told me today how they were done with cold salads now — duh, yes, this country is never warm enough for cold salads to be particularly welcome, and definitely not now!)
- use my planned wardrobe cull (still on my to do list after our bit of redecorating and reorganising of our living space) as an opportunity to find my winter boots, launder and air my winter woollies, and embrace my cashmere sweaters as a rather grownup form of security blanket when I’m feeling in need of cosy comfort!
- reassure myself that a dram of whiskey is no great sin (at the right time of evening I mean…!)
- get out out for a lunchtime airing on workdays so I feel less like a lab rat under artificial light all the time
- consider more hot yoga classes — the heat might be just what I need
find beauty in the changes in nature safe in the knowledge that all the plants will grow again. The ancient greek myth of Persephone has always made so much sense to me: the vegetation goddess who is held in the underworld by Hades for half the year until she is released each spring to bring life back to the earth.
I’m interested if there are any winter-phobes like me who have any tips to share. What perks you up during the darker months?
image credit of Persephone: http://shelton.berkeley.edu.