It is January and the holidays are behind us. This time of year, I find myself to be particularly drained, tired, and both mentally and physically exhausted. More and more people I talk to, tell me that they also feel the same. I don’t know how long this has been going on, but over the past few years I have noticed the cycle that my body follows right after the holiday season.
This time of year, I notice that I am more than “sleepy” through my day, but more like fatigued – chronic fatigued. I find that I crave different foods and at times no food at all. I have little to no interest being social this time of year. I also feel moody and seem to be in fog more often than not – the other day I left the store forgetting some of my groceries in the cart. Some may say that these symptoms mirror Seasonal Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Part of all of these symptoms I blame on the down side of the holidays. And by holidays, I mean Halloween through New Year’s. I personally feel like October through January 1st is a rat-race, no matter how I try to plan, be organized or pull back on obligations. There is the shopping, the preparations, the decorating, and if you have children like I do, there are the classroom parties, holiday programs, recitals, etc. Never mind the financial or emotional stress that the holidays can put on some people.
This time of year is the opposite of all of that. For every up, there is a down.
I know many people who take traditional antidepressants, or use light therapy to get them through this time of year. And many who I know who use these methods claim that they work well for them. However I have ALSO learned over the years from some of my homeopathic doctors and mentors that just like plants and animals, our bodies go through a natural hibernation cycle. Hibernation doesn’t necessarily mean “sleep” though our bodies need rest, but hibernation is a time when energy needs to be conserved because the body’s functions (and even cells) tend to be slowed down.
This is the time of year that we ARE supposed to rest and go dormant so that we can reboot in the spring. (It is sort of ironic that people use this time of year to make resolutions and end up working themselves to death at their local gym, boot camps and exercise classes, isn’t it?) During this time of year I do pay extra attention to making sure that I am taking whatever vitamins or supplements that have been prescribed for me through my homeopathic doctor. I do find that I pay better attention to what I am eating, part of that may be the fact that I have more time to plan meals with a slower schedule. I also utilize my acupuncturist to help me through this challenging season. I have given in to the fact that I should be catching up on all of the things I put off during the holiday season and I have given in to the idea that this is a great time of year to curl up and spend time with the books that I have been meaning to read, catching up on my Netflix and just plain resting and getting a nap in when I can, or jump into bed early when my schedule allows. It isn’t seasonal depression – it is hibernation season!! My body needs to rest and renew!