Q&A: Winter Blues and S.A.D.

Q: Every winter I suffer of S.A.D. and I feel tired and depressed. Is it the lack of sunlight?

Lack of sunlight is part of it, but mostly it is what it represents – a withdrawal of the forces of nature into the earth and the awakening of our soul.

In the summertime nature creates a cocoon of warmth and distraction for us. We let ourselves be carried by the strong energies available at that time, we live outwardly, carried by the rhythms of life, we can relax and coast and allow the universe to breathe us in and out, so to speak, with little effort on our part.

Contrary to what we usually believe, summer is a time when our consciousness is “asleep”. It is in winter that we awaken to the world and take a look around and … inside ourselves.

In autumn, when the juicy forces of nature start ebbing, when the lively colours, warmth and activity of summer withdraws and the sun seems to be far away, we suddenly wake up from the summer dream. We become more conscious of of our inner life. It is as if after spending summer outdoors, we come back home to find our house in a bit of disarray. We notice our feelings and thoughts. Questions like “What am I doing with my life?” arise.

Autumn and winter mark the switch from extroversion to introversion. It is a time to go inward, an introspective time. We feel the withdrawal of nature, the toning down of light and colours.

S.A.D. points to  painful awakening of our Self in winter, when we are alarmed by what we perceive. Deficiencies and failures loom in sharp contrast. We react with a desire to withdraw back into sleep. But because Nature’s energy has withdrawn into the earth our summer buffer is gone. So we look for ways to re-create the summer bubble of comfort: full spectrum lights, vitamin D, summer foods. We even try medication – anything to get rid of the winter blues. But when our soul needs nourishing, feeding the body is not enough.

To be in sync with the requirements of winter, we need to tune into our inner light, boost the spiritual in us, that which is hungry for growth and understanding, that which we had shelved during the summer.

When a person is well balanced and has a rich inner life the quiet time spent in contemplation, is very rewarding. Such a person is invigorated by the coming of fall and winter.

When there are issues that are still unresolved, the darkness is a burden, it causes depression and fatigue. It is not so much due to lack of light, but because we become more conscious of who we are and what is going on with us.

Use the winter months to feed your soul, to work with the wisdom of the universe and of spiritual life, to which we are all so much closer at this time of the year. Time spent in meditation, inner reflection and soul nourishment will dispel the pall of S.A.D. with the inner light that it generates – a light much stronger than any outer sunlight we crave for!

This is the time to awaken and bring down into our physical life the starry wisdom of the heavens.