In the Northern Hemisphere spring is approaching. In the Southern Hemisphere, fall is arriving. Each season brings its unique energy. As we emerge from the darkness of the short days of winter into the warmth of spring, it’s time to release the grief and loss of the past season. In the South, the days are getting shorter as winter approaches.

‘Winter blues’ is a common expression because of the depression sometimes associated with reduced light known as Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). The lower level of natural sunlight can cause the reduction in serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood; changes in melatonin, a hormone associated with both mood and sleep; and disruptions in the body’s circadian rhythms which regulate sleep-wake cycles.

Winter blues can also refer to the season when many choose to leave this world and move on and those left behind feel the grief of the loss. This winter I lost two family members. My nephew suddenly died in his sleep. My sister had a diagnosis and then ten days later crossed over. At least I got to say goodbye to her while she was in hospice. It eased my heart to be with her and the family in the end. I am still grieving these losses though my heart is now lighter as time passes.

Other losses often occur in winter. The holidays create stress sometimes causing couples to decide to part at the end of the year. Job cuts frequently are made at year’s end because businesses look to improve their bottom line. Grief is part of these losses too. These changes disrupt the status quo and force us to adapt to a new reality.

However, grief and pain pass too. Spring is the time to embrace the renewal and hope this season brings. With each new day, we have the opportunity to savor the moments of emergence and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

When life is painful there are opportunities for comfort and support to transcend the pain and find solace while our hearts heal.

  1. Discover the renewal of nature. Take a walk and see the buds on the trees and first spring flowers arising. Let nature heal your heart.
  2. Notice the joys in small moments. Share a smile with a happy child in the store. Hold the door open for another and feel their appreciation. Wear your favorite sweater or cozy clothes and feel the sensuous pleasure of the texture and colors. Take joy in the little things. Appreciate the small kindnesses that come your way.
  3. Take comfort in daily routines. Feel the contentment of cooking a favorite dinner, cleaning the house, shopping for the food you enjoy, seeing the scenery driving to work or a visit.
  4. Music, beauty, and pets support us. When our hearts are heavy, music is soothing for whatever mood we are in. Enjoy old photos of vacations, family, and friends, remembering the happiness you enjoyed in the past knowing it will come again. Let you pets comfort you. Dogs, cats, horses, and other animal sense our emotions and want to help. Petting and cuddling with animals lowers stress and reduces blood pressure. Pets offer love in their unique ways.
  5. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to make new happy memories. Keeping routine celebration happy and meaningful will add to overall satisfaction with life and we renew our connections with others.

Let’s welcome the new season with open hearts and a positive outlook, as we celebrate the beauty and joy of spring. Life is change. Know that no matter how cold or dark the winter was, spring and sunshine always emerge. Hearts heal.

Blessings for health and happiness, Arian

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