Posts tagged mental health
10 Ways to Keep Those Winter Blues Away
SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder | Self care tips | how-to self care ritual | winter blues | winston-salem, NC | Christmas Gifts | Holiday Stress | Holiday Plans | keeping moms sane

*shivers* Cold winds are blowing and the temperature is dropping steadily here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It's a Southerner's worst nightmare (aside from a shortage of flakey, buttery biscuits.) We watch in sadness as our colorful fall foliage is floating down en-mass to the ground beneath the trees and our mornings are greeted with darkness and frost. For some of us, the sadness becomes an actual condition, most commonly know as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

SAD affects us all in different ways - all 10,000,000 (yes, MILLION) of us Americans who suffer from it. We can struggle against our internal will to hibernate, which, without proper sleep and hibernation we can certainly gain similar attributes to a bear - overeating, lethargy, oversleeping, an angry or grumpy demeanor. Likewise, we can lose our appetite, lose our energy, feel physically burdened and weighted down, experienced heightened anxiety and stress and even struggle with suicidal thoughts in some cases.

So, in order to help yourself (and not be a bear and devour your family during the holidays!), you kind of need to know what causes Seasonal Affective Disorder. We researched to try and find the best explanation so that we could, in turn, help you. Psychology.com breaks the "WHY" down the best :

"One theory is that it is related to the amount of melatonin in the body, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. Darkness increases the body's production of melatonin, which regulates sleep. As the winter days get shorter and darker, melatonin production in the body increases and people tend to feel sleepier and more lethargic. Another theory is that people with SAD may have trouble regulating their levels of serotonin, which is a major neurotransmitter involved in mood. Finally, research has suggested that people with SAD also may produce less Vitamin D, which is believed to play a role in serotonin activity. Vitamin D insufficiency may be associated with clinically significant depression symptoms."

 All in all, SAD is not a good place to exist, nor is it healthy. We know what it's like to feel miserable and we wouldn't wish misery on anyone. As such, we've compiled a "how-to" list of sorts to help you with your SADness.

10 Ways to Keep Those Winter Blues Away

  • Bright Light Therapy
  • Increasing Circulation through massage or skin brushing
  • Mood and Immune boosting essential oils
  • Plan enjoyable, mood boosting activities
  • Drinking water
  • Committing yourself to a simple self-care routine
  • Surround yourself with green or vibrant plants
  • Talk to someone (even if it's just a short phone call to say "hi")
  • Wear warm fun socks
  • Plan physical activities
Embodying Love

Embody Love Movement was founded out of the inspiration from a group of a few young women who, together, found a passion for inspiring and empowering other girls and women to recognize their value and their potential. Their mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world.

The Embody Love Catalysts are a group of young women who have radically embraced their bodies and, therefore, themselves.  In 2011, the catalysts were the initial recipients of a workshop that included media literacy education, yoga, and self-acceptance exercises.  Each of them felt a personal transformation, and together, they dreamed up ways to share the experience with other girls and women. In collaboration with Dr. Melody Moore, they developed Embody Love Movement’s founding programs: the Inner Beauty Shop and the Mentorship Program for younger girls struggling with eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and depression. Through giving back in service of others, the Catalysts have found a greater purpose in their journey to self-love and self-acceptance.  They have brought the Embody Love Movement to schools, camps, and organizations in Dallas and on their college campuses.

Jasper & Fern's founder, Alyson, knows these struggles all too well. She has fought with self-esteem issues her whole life, struggled with bulimia during most of her adolescence and still battles depression. When Kristen Williams, owner of K10 Yoga, approached Alyson about bringing the Embody Love Movement to North Carolina, it was kismet. Built on love, support, grace and compassion Jasper & Fern, K10 Yoga and Embody Love are the perfect fit.

Want to make an impact? You can!
Embody Love Facilitator Training is coming to Winston the end of September!!

This workshop is going to be powerful. It’s not going to be something you can attend and simply absorb information. It’s going to move you. It’s going to grow your heart and it’s going to give you the skill set to make a deep impact on your loved ones and your community.
— Alyson, owner of Jasper & Fern



Give the gift of self love to yourself and other women and girls in the community. Become a facilitator for the Embody Love Movement! Celebrate inner beauty, commit to kindness, contribute to meaningful change in the world.

Note: You do not have to be a yoga teacher to complete this training and share this work. Email Kristen Williams for details and to register! K10yogas@gmail.com

Want to be updated on this event and other events offered at Jasper & Fern? Subscribe to our newsletter and join our online community.

Sundays
"Today, part of my self care was opening a book that took me three years to crack the cover and has taken me two years to get to the midway point. This book is both thrilling and unnerving. It's the source of both joyful and disquieting self-examination. In the oddest of ways perhaps..." | Self-Care Blog | Mental Illness | Struggling with Bi-Polar | An honest look at Mental Illness | Running a business with Mental Illness | Mental Disease, A Blessing and An Obstacle | Self-Care with Manic-Depression | Jasper & Fern, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 | The Beauty of Being Yourself | Creativity and Mania | Balancing Life | Winston-Salem Entrepreneur | Woman Entrepreneurs | Self Care Rituals | Self Acceptance Journey | Women's Portraits

I do my best to keep the practice of not working on Sundays. There's a reason the seventh day was made for rest, after all. For the past few months, I've been making time on Sundays for refilling my body and soul; I am making efforts to get in a better routine of self care. That means anything from spending time with family, napping, cuddling with my puppies, napping, making good conversation with my husband without distractions, walking, napping (I like naps), taking a hot bath, creating and (another favorite) sitting in silence surrounded by nature. I'm stepping outside of my habits today to share part of my self-care journey with you while it is fresh on my heart and I have the words to say what I mean.

Today, part of my self care was opening a book that took me three years to crack the cover and has taken me two years to get to the midway point. This book is both thrilling and unnerving. It's the source of both joyful and disquieting self-examination. In the oddest of ways perhaps, it is a source of self care.

You see, the woman who wrote this book, as an autobiography and memoir of her own struggle with bi-polar disorder, seems like she wrote MY biography. Her experiences, her actions, her struggles - they resonate with me on a deep level. For so long I've felt alone in my bi-polar. I've felt alone in the darkness of my depression. I've felt alone in the joys of my mania, never sure which loneliness is worse - not having someone who understands the depth of the pain in the darkness or the emptiness of seeing the most beautiful moments and experiencing the highest levels of joy and having no one to share that experience with. Now, don't get me wrong, I have wonderful people in my life whom I am incredibly thankful for that love me and share space with me and share deep relationships with me but, the pain of being alone in my experiences with my bi-polar... that is a loneliness I struggle with.

That's where Kay comes in. I've never met her but I feel like I've known her my whole life. I feel like she's me - the me that knows every nook and cranny of who I am, the me that gets my existence. The Me that can relate and explain to me in my struggles what's going on, where I need to be careful and how to take care of myself. On many levels, reading this book allows me the opportunity and perspective to care for myself. It reinforces my confidence that I am not alone; it helps me watch for signs no one else may see but I may notice and helps me know how to care for myself during these times. It helps me accept me for me - especially when I'm struggling.

Through my own journey, I've come to learn that self-care can come in many forms. Accepting and learning about You is a big part of that care. Setting aside time for your mind, body and heart to recover is an integral part of that routine as well. So, after turning a few pages while cuddled with my pups and giving myself the opportunity for introspection, I'm going to take a nap and continue this #selfcaresunday routine.