INTO THE DARKNESS: 7 TIPS FOR WINTER AND SOLSTICE
By Milla Prince
This night of the year lands on us like a sack of night sky, smack in the midst of the busy exhausting holiday season.
When we naturally need to travel inward, we are pulled out into the hustle & bustle.
Here are a few simple tips to beating the darkness blues, seasonal affective disorder, or #kaamosmasennus :
1. Give in. At the risk of using the season's most redundant word: get cozy. Don't expect too much of yourself, go to bed early, and revel in sleeping lots, reading, staying warm, and being snug. If all of nature hibernates, it is clearly the natural way.
2. Go outside. I know it can be tough when you go to work in the dark and leave in the dark, but no matter your situation, try to get as much outside time during daylight hours a week, as you can. Balance is key.
3. Eat heavy. I don't mean sugar and fries, but hearty roots, broths, stews, and fats. There's a reason potato, beet and pumpkin season is now! Healthy, hearty foods will keep us warm and help our immunities too.
4. Make big plans, dream great dreams. If there's ever a good time for self-reflection, scheming, and dreaming, this is it! Get down to the bare bones of what you really want, figure out how it could work, do the thinking now and save the legwork for later. It's also a great time to go deeper and get more esoteric about life, death and everything in between.
5. Make your own fun! Feeling a little cabin feverish from all that staying at home? Plan a craft night, a reading group, a discussion circle. If you'd like to do something but lack the energy, committing to others will help.
6. Summer dreams. Close your eyes and remember that whatever your bioregion, it has rhythms to it that your body naturally will adhere to. Flying to the warmth is tempting, but summer will come around again, and all your plans to fruition. This dark downtime is part of a cycle, something to enjoy, not fear.
7. Embrace the darkness & the magic! Create ritual, speak to the ancestors, make good food, tuck the darkness in, and let the light seep through. This is great time for prayer, magic & memory.
HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THE DARK SEASON? Share your ideas, rituals, practices, and tips in the comments below.
(All photos used here courtesy of Milla Prince. This article is (c) Milla Prince and published with permission.)
Milla is a Finnish woman living on a small Island off the coast of Washington, where she writes for her blog The Woman Who Married a Bear. Her longtime blog is journal of her personal thoughts and ideas, things that interest her, infuriate her, light her brain on fire; things she loves, or consider beautiful, or vitally important. You can follow her and learn more at her site or on Instagram.