LATEST LETTER TO LISSA
Just to let you know I find your articles fun and informative. You have a lovely smiling face and are a great inspiration.
I have this problem/thought/idea, not sure how to classify it. But, simply put, winter depressed me, I find no joy in it, just now reading one of your links I saw one with things to do in summer, I nearly cried. I am in Australia and winter is fast approaching. Summer is always short lived here in Melbourne, unlike of course our Northern neighbours. I try to thing positive about it, but as soon as I feel a chill or see a drop of rain I just feel so so low.
This has bought me to thinking, would this be because in my last life I was from a Mediterannean country, I am Italian so of course that would explain my love for the sun – but I have nearly always lived in Melbourne – apart from my 10 year stint in Italy – which I totally loved.
How can I get these horrible thoughts out of my head, how can I stay happy even during winter, I have worked out how to stay warm at least, buy a much thicker coat this winter. But I find that I am the odd one out, Melbournians are always saying how wonderful it is that the weather changes often, it is hot one day and the next it is cold and they say, ‘thank god for that’ – I find myself really not on the same wavelength at all, not in the least.
What can I do – apart from moving of course, to combat this ‘anger’ over winter. I have never felt like this before. Because last year we had no warm weather and a very long winter and also working in a freezing office, it has really made me nervous. I even got very sick last year with the flu and a nasty cough -which I have never had. Is something happening to me that I am unaware of.
I know it is a strange question,but it has been bugging me for a year now. Any insight?
Thanks for writing. This is not a strange question – a lot of us can relate! It sounds like you are a Vata. If you don’t know what that is, go to whatsyourdosha.com to take the quiz and find out. Vatas have an aversion to cold and dry weather. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do about it so that you don’t have to suffer!
1. All year, but especially during the winter, follow the Vata routine. There is more information about this on the site, but basically: eat warm, cooked foods. Do abhyanga (warm sesame oil self-massage) DAILY. Stay warm, especially your feet and hands and ears. Keep a regular routine. Get lots of sleep. Minimize travel and stress. Meditate twice a day.
2. Part of the problem in the winter is that we have the heater on, and that dries out the air. Use a humidifier at night to help you sleep without drying out your throat. Moisturize your skin. Sip on hot/warm water with lemon throughout the day. Use saline spray in your nose. Use sesame oil in your ears. If you’re in an office all day, bring a mister to mist your face and space to add some moisture to the air.
3. Wear natural fabrics, and layer. Cotton is wonderful – layer upon layer, and you can top it off with something warmer like wool, cashmere, or a blend, but keep cotton next to your skin.
4. Get out in natural sunlight every day to avoid SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which can make you feel depressed. For places that miss sunlight for more than a day or two, you may want to invest in a special full-spectrum light. This really makes a big difference. Gaiam.com has a good selection – if you do an online search I’m sure you can find an Australian company that makes the same thing.
5. Decorate your house with warm, calming colors – lots of yellows and greens. Put up photos and paintings of tropical settings, sunshine, beaches, anything that makes you feel happy and warm. Use aromatherapy of summer fragrances like pineapple, and orange, that remind you of the warmth. Keep fresh flowers around – things that make you smile, like daisies, that look fresh and pretty and happy.
And keep in mind that winter is temporary! It doesn’t last forever.
Let me know how you are doing…