Winter Solstice: How It Affects Us & Ways to Navigate the Season

Winter Solstice and your sleep patterns

As the crisp Autumn air trickles in and the color of the leaves changes, we’re beautifully reminded that winter is coming. This subtle hint from Mother Nature that the Winter Solstice is on the horizon and doesn’t always sit so well with us humans. But why? What are the effects of Winter Solstice?

I sat down with Tillie Eze, fixer & alchemist and Jen Rulon, author, life coach and fitness expert. We discussed why you often experience odd and uncomfortable changes at this time. They offered tips on how we can navigate this time of year in a healthy, wholesome manner. 

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“This time of year, darkness arrives early, knocking us off our circadian rhythm,” says Tillie Eze, fixer & alchemist “and many times, triggers those with diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder to have an episode that can last until Spring — sometimes longer.” Jen adds “colder weather also means more folks wanting to stay indoors, which can lead to isolation, lack of motivation, and even less interest in activities one usually enjoys.” She says that “being out in nature has been correlated with lower stress levels and increased mood because nature has an incredible grounding effect. Many will lose this important resource if they’re uncomfortable being outside when it is dark outside or with the cold.”

helping your mental health in the winter

So, how can we navigate through the Winter Blues in addition to helping our friends & family do the same?

Physical:

Jen: Find a workout buddy! Whether in the morning at the gym, a walking partner in your neighborhood, or an evening running partner. Community plays a huge role for all of us, as 2020 showed us that we need that as humans. There are many online communities on Facebook or any social platform where you may need that push or guidance. Get out in the sun. Whether standing on the grass for 10 minutes and allowing the sun to hit the face or looking at getting a light designed for winter blues

Tillie: Not everyone has luscious, snowy-capped groves in their neighborhood, but we all have some form of nature happening nearby. Get yourself outside, and be one with the atmosphere occurring around you. Listen to the sounds, what do you hear? Smell the air, what is the scent that only permeates this time of year? Experience the visuals around you, is there snow, rain, cold with the Sun? Are people in tartan peacoats, puffers, or is a trench coat? When you take in Winter Solstice as it’s happening, rather than it being frigid, it opens your mindseye to the varying perspectives and blessings occurring during this shift, while keeping you grounded and centered during moments prime for disassociation.

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Mental: 

Jen: If you need to reach out and talk to a therapist or a counselor, there are many online opportunities. Find someone through your healthcare provider, or places like Better Help have helped many.

Tillie: With the continual global uprisings, and the emotional toll it has on the body, it is important that we are very intuned with what’s happening around us, while not being absorbed by, or succumb to the mania possible during this time of limited interaction and movement. This is the occasion to feed your soul, not untethered emotions.

Emotional: 

Tillie: Take at least 10 – 15 minutes daily for yourself and express gratitude for what you have. Meditate and write or journal about what you are currently going through, the good, the bad, or the ugly. 

The Winter Solstice: How It Affects Us & Ways to Navigate Through the Season

Winter Solstice and your sleep patterns

Lastly, Director Alison Savage MS, LPCC at SUN Behavioral Health Kentucky stresses the importance of SLEEP. 

“Winter solstice can disrupt the natural rhythm of our sleep-wake cycle” explains Savage. “You might find yourself getting tired and wanting to go to bed, but then realize it’s only early evening. When sleep is interrupted, that can have a significant impact on our ability to handle stress and regulate strong emotions. There can be increased depression and anxiety”. 

I am personally a fan of DEEPS Sleep Set to help me get, not only restful sleep but rejuvenating sleep. DEEPS are naturally formulated sleep patches that work with no drugs and are 100% natural and safe. Transdermal timed-release patches work with your body’s natural sleep processes to help you drift off to sleep and stay asleep without waking up with that ‘groggy’ or medicated feeling! The set contains warm and cozy socks, a weighted lavender-infused eye mask and Japanese incense. 

So as the Solstice slowly steeps into our days and we feel the effects of winter, I encourage you to take deep breaths, brace yourself for change and remember to take time for number one this season, you!

Ashley-Victoria Smith
Ashley-Victoria Smith

Serial entrepreneur, celebrity publicist, published author, swimwear designer, and creative director. Currently resides in the Queen City with her two rescue fur babies indulging in coffee, a good book, and Marvel movies.

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