Springtime can wreak havoc on your inner being. Grey days and rainy weather aggravate cabin fever as you find yourself confined—without logical explanation—to the couch. You swear you’re not depressed. Still, you struggle to find motivation as your mind twists around burdens you can’t relinquish. If only you could embody the lightness of the cheery daffodil. But instead, the elephant of your spring funk weighs you down.
Don’t let this slump dictate your daily agenda. By changing the architecture of your mental and physical habits, you can reverse the seasonal nosedive.
Reeling in the Monkey Mind
Let’s face it. Chewing through yesterday’s happenings leaves no room for forward momentum. In fact, the monkey mind can become fully debilitating affecting both your personal and professional life. Don’t check yourself in just yet. Incorporating a meditation practice can reverse the ill effects.
Now if the thought of meditation conjures up images of sitting cross-legged for hours on end, think again. Focused breathing, even as little as five minutes daily, changes the brain chemistry and teaches you to witness your feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them. Start with a guided practice that eases you in. Soon, your mind settles and you can face the day free of debilitating guilt, negative thoughts or cyclical renditions.
Up Your Workout Ante
Overcast days disrupt the body’s hormones and can leave you with a sense of impending doom. Combat depression—seasonal or otherwise—by raising your heart rate. A quick jog, bike ride or even a brisk walk gets your blood pumping and your metabolism moving. Do some spring cleaning by implementing a regimented workout routine and stick to it.
Additionally, exercise cranks up the feel good hormones, giving you the same adrenalin boost as a mid-winter pow run. Move it outdoors, despite the weather, and breathe in some fresh air. The invigorating mix of cool air and exercise will have you huffing and puffing your way towards a smile. You may not be racing down buff singletrack just yet, but you’ll prime yourself for when the snow recedes and the trails dry out.
Yep, you heard right.
Eating thistle and dandelion greens detoxes your insides, naturally revitalizing the spirit. Wander outside on a rainy spring day and examine your yard. Hidden amidst the mud, decaying leaves and dried out perennials, you’re bound to find some sprouting weeds. Pick ‘em and add them to salads or blend them with lemon juice, apple and water. With clear channels, your body no longer needs to churn through the muck to operate. This brightens your overall mood and renews your sense of stoke.
For more tips on eliminating winter’s stagnancy and to get a handy spring cheat sheet, check out Yogahealer.com. Cate’s tips help you reset both your body and mind.
We can’t exclude the therapeutic benefits of yoga for combating springtime blues. But not all blues are the same. Bo Forbes, a yoga therapist, explains in Yoga Journal. “SAD has three distinct phases. In the dead of winter it looks like depression. But in the fall and early spring, it is often characterized by hypomania, where people tend to have physical agitation and racing thoughts.”
Before starting or tweaking your practice, first note your tendencies. If you’re battling with lethargy, pre-dawn sun salutations increase your metabolism and heighten your mood. If you suffer from nervous agitation, a restorative practice with deep breathing will calm your anxiety.
Natural Light Therapy and Oil Massage
No—sandwiching yourself into a tanning bed isn’t the answer. Instead, wait for a sunny winter day (you’re bound to get one) and administer self-care in a lighted window. Gently massage your body with sesame, sunflower or coconut oil. Once every nook and cranny is lubed, spread a towel on the floor and bask in the sun for as little as 15 minutes. Oil massage boosts the immune system, calms the nerves and increases mental alertness. Combine this with the added effects of the sun’s warmth and you just created a mini vacay to the beach.
So if you find yourself wishing for dreamy blue skies, even though you know the Groundhog saw his shadow, integrate the above rituals to tip your attitude scale. With a fresh mindset and a little physical “weeding,” your newfound aura will radiate the warmth and light that gloomy April sometimes lacks.