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561: What to do when the darker evenings make your anxiety worse

In this week's Anxiety Slayer podcast, we're talking about how to adjust to the darker evenings and keep anxiety in check during what can be a challenging time of year for many anxiety sufferers.

 

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Points covered in this week's episode:

Get outside every day

Make the most of what light there is. Get outside as much as you can and walk, step out briskly and feel your feet connecting with the earth, or drive out for a nurture day, somewhere you can look out at the open sky.

 

Bring light inside

Changing the lighting in your home can make a big difference - try full spectrum lights or daylight light bulbs.

Wake up lights can be helpful too. My daughter uses a lamp that gradually lights her bedroom before she wakes up on dark winter mornings.

Hang up fairy lights: Pick styles and colors that feel relaxing and uplifting to you. Try putting fairy lights around a mirror so the light is reflected.

Experiment with different ways to make your evenings lighter If you have a fireplace light a fire and practice gentle breathing while you watch the flames. If you don't have a fire, light candles and meditate on their light.

Meditate with candles: Try our candle gazing meditation on our Patreon. This ancient practice is called trataka or concentrated gazing on a candle to bring light and peace to the mind.

SAD lights: SAD is an abbreviation for Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition where we experience depression and a strong discomfort with the darker evenings.

Some find that light therapy helps their mood. This involves sitting by a special lamp called a light box, for around 30 minutes each morning. The light produced by the light box simulates the sunlight that's missing during the darker winter months.

The theory behind light boxes is that they encourage the brain to reduce the production of melatonin (a hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (a hormone that affects your mood).

 

Eat in step with the season

Key: Warm and easy to digest Soups Steamed veg Ayurvedic dishes Dal and rice Vegetable stews Baked squash and apples

 

Change up colour

Dress your space with brighter colors Use throws or bed covers that are warmer colors, orange, yellows, brighter greens. Avoid darker colors like blues, browns and black in the darker months.

 

Use essential oils to lift your spirits

Aromatherapy massage, add to bath (dilute as necessary), or drop in the shower

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Cinnamon
  • Geranium
  

Daily self-care recommendations for seasonal anxiety

Start your day with some stretches and a warm shower. Make your home bright as soon as you wake up.

If you wake up with anxiety try some EFT Tapping and Breathing to help you feel calm and confident about the day ahead.

Find some things to love about the Autumn and Winter seasons.

Ananga and Shann share some things they love about autumn

 
  • Wintering by Katherine May
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
 

If you want to meditate on a warm and relaxing place try our Oasis Guided Journey on Patreon and take a retreat in your imagination to a beautiful, healing location.

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