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overindulge in the yin energy of winter, an attempt at restoration and quietude can lead to lethargy and isolation. “I see this clinically,” says Freda. “Instead of embracing a little extra rest and relax- ation, some people become exhausted and lose their motivation altogether. They become stuck in the yin.” Cardillo recommends that such individuals engage in mood-brightening outdoor activities to help restore bal- ance. Roecklein agrees, noting that SAD sufferers undergoing cognitive behav- ioral therapy (which emphasizes posi- tive thinking and beneficial behaviors) likewise are encouraged to participate in physical and social activities that bring joy and meaning.


Lane Vail is a freelance writer in South Carolina. Connect at WriterLane.com.


Rituals Reverse Winter’s Blues


Unpleasant winter memories can affect one’s emotional experience of the season every year like clockwork, says Dr. John Sharp, a physician, psychia- trist and author of The Emotional Calendar. Fortunately, it is possible to take a personal inventory, be aware of such behaviors, innovate on traditions and create a new experience.


Holistic Psychologist Joseph Cardillo goes further, suggesting that we create a “personal prescription” to mindfully manage difficult emotions during wintertime. He encourages activating the senses and combining two or more sensory experiences to amplify the effectiveness. Appealing options include:


n Light scented candles or diffuse essential oils (citrus brightens; lavender soothes)


n Invite bright colors into living spaces (reds excite; greens, blues and whites calm)


n Nourish the palate with winter vegetable stews n Create a playlist of soothing nature sounds or uplifting music n Warm up near a cheery fire after spending time in the frosty outdoors


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natural awakenings December 2013 31


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