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  • Writer's pictureAtsuko

Winter Solstice: Embracing the Light Within




Winter Solstice this year in the UK falls on the 21st of December 2023. While the days start getting longer from this point onwards, we only get 7 hours and 50 minutes of daylight!

 

Whether you're a winter sports lover or enjoy the cold, many of us struggle with the lack of daylight. According to a website, 1 in 20 people in the UK suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

 

I have never been medically diagnosed, but I am certain I have a mild case. I always dread the onset of winter or even autumn. Last year, I invested in a light therapy light, and it seems to be making a small difference.

 

If you have read my previous blog, you may know that I am not a morning person. I wake up with a sense of dread and anxiety, feeling as if I was spat onto the struggles of this world from a beautiful place. Upon waking, my mind goes through all sorts of daily stresses, and I feel like 'I can't do this...'. This feeling doesn't last long and is gone in 30 minutes, but I never get used to it. I try to combat this by sleeping with the roof light blind open, hoping some light will gently ease me into the morning, but it's pitch black this time of the year!

 

Over the years, I have developed some strategies. The latest one, which I find really helpful, is resisting the temptation to pick up the phone. Like many people, I've developed a habit of picking up the phone out of reflex, but I now resist the temptation.

 

Apart from this, here are my morning routines:

 

1. Morning Affirmation: Sometimes I say it silently, sometimes out loud. Something simple like 'I am the source energy in the physical body.' or 'I love and approve of myself.'

 

2. Yoga: Getting out of my mind and into my body is the best solution for me. Every morning, I step onto the mat whether I feel like it or not, and my mood is always much improved.

 

3. Meditation: Then, either a light breakfast then meditation, or straight onto the meditation cushion.

 

As you can see, these take some time, so I need to wake up much earlier than strictly necessary to get ready for work. This may seem ridiculous for a natural night owl like me, but I'm afraid that is the price to pay. You need to prioritise your own well-being!


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