Welcome to the transition between winter and spring. For many, this is a hellish time of year.
It’s a time when anxiety combines with a feeling of being stuck, restlessness with stagnancy, an overwhelmingly restless mind with laziness, and insomnia with sleepiness. You may find yourself overpowered by a sense of dread, despair, and helplessness. It’s a time when many isolate themselves, and this is the absolute worst thing to do.
Fortunately the wisdom of Ayurveda can help you navigate from winter to spring healthily and happily. Read on for some Ayurvedic tips to incorporate this time of year and, if you’re interested in going deeper, a bit more information about why this is such a dangerous time of year.
Tips to Stay Happy & Healthy
Do Not Isolate Yourself
Do not isolate yourself. I repeat, DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF! Probably the best thing you can do is to be in good company. Surround yourself with love. Fill your calendar with dates, plans, and activities with good friends, family, and, if available, your lover. Once plans are made, fulfill them. You may not feel like leaving your cocoon, but you will feel immensely better if you do. The saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s plaything” is especially true now. But “the devil” can’t touch you if you’re laughing, loving, and being with those who make you smile and warm your soul.
Plus, you don’t know what struggles your loved ones are going through. If you don’t do it for yourself, spend time with them to ensure they’re doing ok.
Do Your Yoga Practice
Get out of your house and get to yoga class. You’ll be surrounded by radiant smiling faces (see “Do Not Isolate Yourself” above), will create a buffer from the negative thoughts, activate motivating energy, and enjoy some peace and quiet. If a yoga class isn’t available then unroll your yoga mat, pump up the jams, and dance through your own flow.
Take In The Sun (When Possible)
The sun is a rare commodity this time of year. Get outside when it’s out and take in that sunny delight. The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your mood.
Bonus Content: Why This Time of Year Is So Difficult
“Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.” – National Institute of Mental HealthWhere The Ayurveda and Yoga Institute is located (New Jersey), the autumn and winter are related to Vata Dosha. In balance, Vata Dosha bestows creativity, enthusiasm, lightness of spirit, and inspiration. Think about that magical sensation you may feel during the holiday season.
Yet because we live in such a Vata aggravating society with our crazy speed of life, we often tend to accumulate excess Vata Dosha during this time of year. This causes feelings of restlessness, worry, unsubstantiated fears, insomnia, unsettledness, and anxiety. As the effects of Vata are highest at the end of Vata Season, these sensations are at their peak now.
The end of winter and spring are related to Kapha Dosha. Healthy Kapha Dosha is associated with stability, compassion, groundedness, relaxation, and a generally easygoing disposition. Yet, we tend to feel the negative aspects of Kapha Dosha on those heavy, damp, and dark days of early spring when the snow is melting, the ground is muddy, and the sky is grey. These negative aspects include lethargy, heaviness, sluggishness, discouragement, over-sentimentality, and depression.
When you combine out-of-balance Vata and Kapha Doshas, as often happens this time of year, you get a perfect storm of misery. Your mind may become anxious, worry-laden, and restless, but your body and temperament may be slothful, hampered, and unmotivated. This creates a sense of dread, helplessness, and stagnancy that is so very daunting.
Again, there is a way through as we discussed earlier in this article. Understanding the way the seasons impact your body and mind allows for you to (1) take proper precautionary measures and (2) know that you’re not wrong for feeling the way you’re feeling. If nothing else, knowing that these feelings will pass offers relief. Taking purposeful action will help them pass quicker or will allow you to avoid them altogether.
I hope this article didn’t scare you or make you feel like you should, like Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.” Ayurveda is about EMPOWERMENT. Let me know if you have any questions by commenting or contacting us. You can also set up a one-on-one in-person or online Ayurvedic coaching session with me to find ways to stay healthy all year around. If you’re local, consider joining our 200 Hour Ayurveda and Healing training to learn the practices and theory for you to be the master of your own health.
Thank you kindly for reading.
Vice-President and Ayurvedic Coach
The Ayurveda and Yoga Institute