Seasonal Depression No More: Tips to Thrive (Not Just Survive) This Winter

As the weather gets cooler, many people experience low energy, disrupted sleep cycles and seasonal blues. I definitely felt the effects of “winter depression” last year more than ever before.

Shorter daylight hours combined with lots of rainy days here in California left me feeling depleted. I found myself wanting to hibernate under the covers rather than jump out of bed to work out like my usual routine.

In this post, I’ll share my tips and plans for nervous system regulation and combating seasonal depression this winter. Take what resonates as you craft your own hibernation plan!

The Mindset Shift

More than anything, I’m shifting my mindset around winter. Rather than seeing it as something to endure or escape from, I’m viewing the colder months as a needed time of rest, turning inward and slowing down.

As part of nature’s cycle, winter offers us an opportunity to release old energies and reflect. I’m choosing to embrace the standstill before new growth emerges in spring.

With this grounded mindset, I can approach winter from a more regulated, proactive place. When you’re in acceptance rather than resistance, it’s amazing how much smoother the season goes.

Nervous System Support Strategies

Here are some of my top strategies for keeping your nervous system balanced as the temperature drops:

Sunlight – I’ll bundle up and get outside first thing in the morning as often as possible. Even short sun breaks help release feel-good serotonin.

Red light therapy – I’ll be doubling up on sessions with my sauna blanket that emits therapeutic red/near-infrared light. This helps compensate for the lack of sun exposure.

Community connection – I’ll plan regular dinners, movie nights, and game nights with friends. Social interaction provides mood boosts.

Thermal therapy – Sauna sessions followed by cold plunges are so regulating for your nervous system. I’ll do regular wellness days at friends’ places that have both.

Clean eating – Warm soups, bone broth, roasted veggies, and minimal sugar will help me feel nourished.

Detoxing – I’ll do a parasite/liver cleanse to clear stagnation from my system. Starting fresh energizes!

Rest and relaxation – As part of hibernation mode, I’ll allow more chill time and early bedtimes.

Having Things to Look Forward To

Last winter, I found myself constantly wishing I could escape the cold and go somewhere warm. This year, I’m actually planning short trips and getaways to give me something to look forward to.

Having a trip on the calendar makes the winter weeks pass more quickly. It also gives you a refreshing change of environment.

I’ll also be intentional about spending quality time with friends. Finding community and connection in the colder months is so grounding.

Overall, my goal is to listen to my body’s cues and give myself plenty of nurturing. Thriving in winter means slowing down and turning inward.

I hope these tips inspire you to embrace hibernation mode this season. Let me know how your nervous system regulation goes! Here’s to a happy and healthy winter.

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