Darker days, darker mind

Without a doubt, this is one of my favourite times of year but it can be especially challenging for managing darker thoughts.

Our minds reflect what we see. So when we see dark all the time, our thoughts often become darker and deeper.

Whilst I am no stranger to deep thoughts, often preferring them to incessant worries and brain chatter, I find that this time of year brings about different thought patterns.

Lack of vitamin D is one cause and I do take supplements during the winter months because I know that I can be prone to seasonal depression if I don’t get enough vitamin D. But the other thing is the way that this season is about teaching us to rest and, quite often, we do the total opposite! We go out, meet friends, have parties, when actually this is a time for hibernation.

So I tend to find that I have more low moods when I am doing a lot during winter because my body wants to rest. I am trying to learn from this and plan in more days of nothingness, or more meaningful solo walks in nature.

There is a lot to be gained from simply walking in silence along a nice path and just observing things. Observing thoughts as they come and go. Observing plants, trees, the colour of the sky. Take it all in.

Whilst I recognise that our thoughts are fluid and we choose the ones we listen to, I also know that it is easier said than done. One thing I find helps me when I have lower days is to make sure I get outside, even if it’s just to my garden to look at the plants. Simply breathing in the air can be an effective way to release those darker thoughts.

I think this passage from light to dark, autumn to winter, November to December, is a way for us to meet our minds and come face-to-face with our demons in a way. It’s like a form of preparation for the months ahead. If we can navigate our challenging thoughts now, we know we have the tools to deal with them throughout the coming months.

So accept the darker days and all that comes with them, but know that you are your own light and you can deal with anything put before you.

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