In general not many of us welcome change in our life. We like to be comfortable and know what to expect. Surprises are only fun when they come in the form of confetti, birthday parties, gifts, lottery windfalls and regular fun, right? When unexpected surprises or changes occur we tend to go into reactive mode trying to figure out why and understand that this change means for our life. Sudden change has this effect of being shocking and surprising (and not in a good way all the time).
While we know by the calendar that changes in the weather will come the change itself when it starts to happen in our days may actually unsettle us leaving us feeling like anxious, depressed and even a little lost. I find myself nostalgic about summer fun days and being in water and outside listening the air conditioners hum against the birds and breeze going through the trees. Now all that has had to stop and the things I love about summer can’t fit into the space where we are now due to cooler weather. When the days get shorter and there is less daylight I honestly even find I am depressed and sadder. I have a very hard time adjusting emotionally and physically to these changes. It is honestly one of the biggest reasons I don’t like winter. My spirit craves sun, brightness and warmth during the Fall and Winter seasons.
When Fall comes many of us turn to bringing out candles and accent lighting that makes our homes feel cozy and warm. This is our natural draw to light against the shorter, darker days. We all notice the shift in available daylight but some of us have a harder time shifting to being without than others.
For me I crave that natural light that I enjoy in the summer especially when it beams in the front windows of my house. The splendid sunrises that come through my home office painting my light blue walls with pinks, yellows, oranges and reds make me happy in the mornings when I am in here. Even my husband says when I have that hour or two first thing early in the mornings to write or create something at my sewing machine I am a different person. I feel much calmer, settled, centered and focused throughout my day. All because I soaked in sunlight and let it feed my spirit and pour through my hands as I put words to a screen or piece together a quilt.
When time changes, if you’re lucky enough to go through that two times a year, or just when the days start to get naturally shorter and there isn’t that natural sunlight in the early mornings or evenings it can cause depression, anxiety and sadness. Seasonal depression effects so many of us even if we are not aware of our sensitivity to light. Many more cases of depression are diagnosed by a family doctor in Fall and Winter than in Spring or Summer. Suicide and murder rates also increase during this time.
The biggest help I have against sad feelings when the light isn’t there in my office is to use small but high powered lamps. Ceiling lights are not the same as it creates a harshness that can make the sensation of lacking natural light worse. However, soft lighting that is bright but focused seems to help. There are also seasonal depression lamps specifically designed to help. I particularly like this one from Amazon that includes an air ion element to make it feel more like natural sunlight. It is also under $40 making it super economical to have a couple of these around the house.
It is common when the seasons change that we feel slower, more tired and generally less energetic. We just want to curl up somewhere warm to read, journal or take a nap. We become quieter and more reflective. This can be a highly creative time or just one where we feel more in tune to our inner consciousness.
We are aligned with nature when these things happen because Fall leading into Winter is a time of rest, renewal and reflection. However, when those feelings are making us feel blue or unable to constructively use this time to rest we can find ourselves depressed, anxious and irritated. It doesn’t feel good and we feel confined.
I have battled seasonal depression for years and know when I’m starting to feel that trapped and confinement because of it. I find myself going to bed earlier, sleeping longer and craving warmth through foods and blankets. When you have to start wearing heavy clothes my body feels trapped and limited in movement because of bulkiness. It feels good because of the warmth but I miss the freedom of lighter clothing and warmth from nature. I feel slower, taking my time to complete things I would normally breeze through. This isn’t always a bad thing but I can physically feel myself being slow and that can also be irritating when you are one who likes to complete things and move to the next.
In Fall and Winter we often find ourselves using our hands to create. For me that is sewing quilts and spending time creating designs for the next one I want to make. I enjoy having my earbuds in listening to something soothing while my sewing machine is stitching seams together on little quilt pieces or I’m applying the quilting stitches to a finished quilt. It is soothing to me and gives me a sense of accomplishment that is fulfilling.
What has helped me the most is using diffusers throughout our home and filling them with uplifting citrus oils like doTERRA Grapefruit and Lemon. These aromas are uplifting and energizing. They make the house smell clean and less confining. I use a lot of doTERRA Wild Orange in my office and mix it with Cedarwood. This makes it feel woodsy and warm yet free and lighter. It’s like the sun is visiting me again in my office and while the walls are dark I can feel it near me.
Oranges and Other Citrus
It’s not a coincidence that we are drawn to citrus fruits in cooler weather and that oranges are a beloved Christmas fruit. Our bodies are craving those nutrients that are derived from citrus. It feeds our cells and soul with nature’s warmth. Those round oranges and grapefruits are a reminder to our body and soul about the sun and how it made us feel when it was pouring into our bodies during Spring and Summer. It makes us emotionally happier and feeds us what we can’t get from outside necessarily right now.
Just looking at citrus fruits in Fall and Winter has incredible benefits. Have a bowl of them on your counter or table and see for yourself. We are drawn to them physically and emotionally when there is less light outside. Yes we need the vitamin C but we need the emotion support that fruit is providing us. The round shape, color and texture is a direct representation of the sun and nature’s gift to us to help us through these darker seasons.
When you can see and smell citrus and experience that power in your cells then you really have the ability to bring the sun into your body and spirit. This is where pure essential oils can really help heal through your senses and directly into your cells. Many of realize we don’t drink as much water in Fall or Winter as we do at other times because we want warmer drinks. However, adding a drop of doTERRA Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot or Wild Orange to water, tea, coffee or whatever you are drinking gives you that flavor of the citrus. Just 1 drop gives you cells a boost they need to combat against the lack of light we are feeling.
Bringing Light In
If you’re like me and really starting to feel the effects of shorter days and cooler temperatures I encourage you to try the tips in this post. The effects of seasonal light disorder depression can be significant and left unaddressed they can lead to more complex anxiety and depressive conditions.
I only use doTERRA in our home because of their commitment to quality and purity. I can trust when I use one of these oils in a diffuser or in my beverage that I can do so safely and without harm to myself, my family or our pets. I know I am also getting the maximum benefits from those pure oils and the most value for my dollar as a result.
If you’re ready to learn how citrus oils and the other fantastic doTERRA oils and products can help you, click here!