Combatting S.A.D.: Mind, Body, & Soul (Part 3)
Continuing with final blog for our three-part series “Combating S.A.D.: Mind, Body, & Soul,” where we discussed Mind and Body over the last two weeks, we share a third wellness solution to Seasonal Affective Disorder:
Part 2: The Soul
Jan Wright, Yoga Instructor
People spend too much time inside during the colder months. They leave in the morning when it’s dark and they come home in the dark. They don’t get enough Vitamin D, but taking an easy or gentle yoga class can help (cleanse the mind of sadness or anxieties and alleviate S.A.D.)
When you are in many yoga poses, you have to be mindful of your balance. It becomes challenging because it requires balance or strength and you have to focus on the pose – on the Now. The more you focus, the better you do in the pose. If your mind starts wondering what’s for dinner or you begin sulking in your depression, the pose won’t go as well.
At home, you can try a simple forward bend – knees slightly bent. It will stretch your hamstrings and lower back and bring blood to your head. Or, stand tall in Mountain Pose. Put your shoulders back, plant your feet, keep your head and neck in alignment, fingers pointed to the ground. Try standing on one foot. Do it standing on line at the supermarket, whenever you can find time, and just focus on the pose and your breath. It will help.
Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep.
It appears that any form of exercise can help depression – biking, jogging at a moderate pace, swimming, walking, yoga, dancing.
And you can try meditating, too. You can actually do it while doing yoga or a formal meditation when you just focus on your breathing. But most people say they don’t have enough time to meditate, so do it while you’re driving. Turn off the radio and notice what you’re thinking. Or do it while walking or hiking.
Try to count your breaths. Count to ten without having a single thought enter your mind. It’s nearly impossible, but meditating is like house cleaning. It’s surprising what garbage comes out and you’ll be able to focus on what’s important once you throw out the trash and ultimately help you alleviate sadness or anxiety.
Thank you for reading our blog series. Let us know if you enjoyed it and we hope this helped cure some wintertime blues!