I write this from the coziness of a coffee shop with the soft fabric of a sweater on my arms. As I watch the rain pour down into puddles on the sidewalk it reminds me fall is here, and now can be the time to resource the body/mind/heart for the darker, wetter and colder months ahead.
The play and exuberance of summer can be fun, but exhausting, while the rain and darkness can encourage a coming home to ourselves. As the bears prepare for hibernation we too can prepare for this quieter time of year. I find a fine balance between honoring the natural tendency to be more inward focused and when that can tip into depression. I currently feel my nervous system vacillating between wanting to keep doing and to be still and quiet. When I can honor the desire to be active, rather than telling myself I should be active, it can feel nourishing and unforced. At the same time when I allow myself to slow down when I need to it doesn’t get stuck in my body as depression. It is when I override and don’t listen to the brilliance of my nervous system I can get stuck in anxiety and/or depression.
For many people living with depression it can’t simply be overcome by listening to the nervous system. However, by understanding and befriending the nervous system we can be more in alignment with our needs while also getting the additional support to navigate the serotonin dip that can happen less light.
Depression can impact the body, mind and heart through physical pain, lethargy, judgmental thoughts or a struggle to show up for yourself or your loved ones. In this workbook you will learn a holistic approach that addresses all of you.
In this workbook you will understand the role of the nervous system in depression and how to work directly with it and learn tools to work with self-criticism, perfectionism and self-hatred in order to nurture compassion, self-acceptance and kindness.
Along with the workbook there is a guided meditation you can use anytime and here are some other resources you can put into place now for your future self, who may thank you later:
- Get a light therapy lamp, which can simulate sunshine to enhance mood, energy and sleep regulation.
- See your doctor and get your vitamin D levels checked, as low levels can be associated with depression.
- Stick to the same times for eating and sleeping to support the balance of melatonin and cortisol levels, which can become out of balance with decreased sunlight as well as living with depression.
- Get outside every day, even if only for a few minutes. Movement and being out in the elements can support the body’s natural resilience and can move stuck energy.
- Honor the desire to slow down and be quiet. This can seem like a paradox from the previous point, but they both can help. Movement can encourage the system to not get stuck, and honoring the desire to be still can also be a way to allow the nervous system to go through the cycle of inertia, which is a natural and normal state of the nervous system.
- If depression feels debilitating talk with a prescriber who can work with you to find a medication that can support you through this time of year.
- Sign up for a Yoga Therapy program where we can work together to tailor tools directly to your experience of depression.
May the darkness teach you the wisdom of stillness and quiet so you fully experience your brightness.