Most people are at least slightly familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). Oftentimes people describe it as "the winter blues" which, frankly, is really minimizing the severity of what it can be.
For some, S.A.D. is a struggle just to get out of bed when the skies are grey and rainy or when the weather turns cold. A lot of energy is exerted simply to keep the body warm even with several layers piled on. Add to that energy depletion a lack of sun and, well, things start looking pretty grim.
As we're fast approaching winter, it's important to keep in mind the necessity of self-care. I know what you're saying: "I already know to do self-care. Geez!" This is one of those things we know, and probably tell others to do, but don't always take our own advice because we're wrapped up with being busy - ESPECIALLY with the holidays coming up. My yoga client this evening was telling me about how she's realizing the importance of making happiness a priority by doing activities which bring joy. Even small rituals of self-care like having a warm cup of tea before bed can make a difference.
Winter is symbolic of retreat and hibernation, turning inward. This season more than others is a reminder of being gentle with ourselves and others. When was the last time you were gentle with yourself? Do you regularly treat yourself with kindness or is your inner dialogue mostly about pushing onto the next thing?
Take a deep breath, slowly sip that tea, and just be here.
That's hard, I know.
If meditation is something you've been interested in or dabbled in but get lost with "what the hell am I supposed to be doing?", I highly recommend an app called Calm. You can set guided meditations for as little as 3 minutes or as long as 30+ minutes. I have found it really enjoyable and have fallen asleep to their bedtime stories.
Wishing you gentleness, yogi boos.