Happy Halloween from Zen in Black Skin!
While many of us have pretty much celebrated Halloween the same way all our lives, this year, we wanted to bring a new perspective to this day.
Halloween’s origins are based in Ireland dating back to over 2000 years ago. It was originally said to be a day of transformation when the veil between the living and the dead is its thinnest–allowing people who have passed to visit the living and people who recently died to seal their transition and say their goodbyes. It was also a day to commemorate the end of summer and the coming of winter. People would take part in feasts, “bone” fires and honor ancestors passed. In modern times, though, we can still see how transformation is relevant as we celebrate Halloween and continue with new traditions.
For me, I know the transformation will come most in my mood as we transition from warm, sunny days to the rain and clouds of winter. Living in Portland has revealed a new and ugly monster to me–a very scary one that 3 million Americans know: seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. SAD affects everyone differently, and shows up especially in people who already deal with depression or bi-polar disorder. The further one lives from the equator, the more likely they are to experience seasonal depression. Symptoms may include:
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbs
- Weight gain
- Tiredness or low energy
No need to wear that mask, we all go through the motions! As we approach the end of daylight savings this coming Sunday, allow yourself grace, compassion and ease as we transition to shorter, darker days, and be mindful about ways you can protect yourself from the symptoms of SAD. Here are some tips:
- Invest in a light box
- Mindful eating habits, shop the perimeter at the grocery store
- Vitamin D supplements daily
- Commit to exercise or movement you enjoy like yoga, aerobics or dancing
- Get outside! The anecdote many of us need is to embrace the change by fully immersing ourselves in the discomfort of it
- Join us for our Nature Walks if you’re local to Portland
- Create a routine and try your best to stick with it
Remember, this Spooky Season doesn’t have to be scary at all. If you feel like your attempts at trying to combat seasonal depression aren’t working, talk to your doctor about additional options, and let them know you are serious about your mental health.
Love and light, y’all. 🧡