Each season has challenges, and in Winter our spirits can struggle with lack of sunlight, SAD, low moods exacerbated by the inability to get out as much, and the overall post holiday hangover. Join us as we discuss flower essences to help support your mood, find clarity, and enhance the positive aspects of the season, to pause, rest and reset.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- Lighten Up – Alaskan Essences
- Illumine – FES
- St John’s Wort – FES
- Mustard – Healing Herbs
- Borage – FES
- Explorer’s Gentian – FES
- Pine – Healing Herbs
- Orange Calcite – Alaskan Essences
- Gold – Alaskan Essences
- Olive – Healing Herbs
- Round Leaf Vitex – Flora of Asia
- Banyan Tree – Hawaiian Essences of Jane Bell
- Cerato – Healing Herbs
- Wild Oat – Healing Herbs
- Penstemon – FES
- Shillong Rose – Flora of Asia
- Blackberry – FES
- Wild Rose – Healing Herbs
- Holly – Healing Herbs
- Pine – Healing Herbs
- Depression Support, Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) definition, The Mayo Clinic
- Vitamin D, Carbohydrates and other dietary help for SAD, Paleo Magazine Radio Ep. #294: Seasonal Affective Disorder – what is SAD, and what can you do about it. Full Transcript
- Acupressure on Kidney 1, Acupuncture.com
Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:42] Welcome again. We’re really glad to have you with us. I’m Kathleen Aspenns and I’m with Rochana Felde. And today, we’re going to be talking about the winter season. We’ve just passed the solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. Or conversely, the longest night of the year. And it puts us firmly into midwinter. And winter is a really good time to be going deep, and doing some deeper healing work, doing some reflection, some meditations. Anything that helps us find a greater sense of connection to our purpose and direction and also to make plans for the future.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:01:19] The winter has its challenges. A lot of us are impacted by the shortness of days and the lack of sunlight, and that can cause some issues. We’re going to talk about that a little bit and just talk about what we can generally do to support our hearts and spirits and our bodies in this winter season. It’s good to be with you, Ro.
Rochana Felde [00:01:39] And it’s great to be here, Kathleen. This time of year, I really look at it as a time to pause and rest and reset. I think that’s so important, especially in our modern day busy lifestyle. Society keeps pushing us to be as active in the winter as we are in the summer. And yet we are not designed to do that. Our bodies need some rest. We need to hibernate a bit. We need to embrace the silence and the quietness and the darkness again for a time in order to get that deep rest that I think we really need on both a physical and spiritual level. And because of all the darkness and the light in the sky appearing for such a short amount of time, especially as you said, when the winter solstice happens. And that’s the shortest time of the year to have light, it can definitely affect our mood being in the dark so much. And that can have an impact on our circadian rhythms. And so there is seasonal depression that can happen with a lot of people. And what it looks like and what it feels like is basically just depression that has a seasonal onset. So it has all the same symptoms of depression. And it just so happens that winter is usually the seasonal onset that can trigger it, but also other seasons can as well.
Rochana Felde [00:03:29] Just to put a little disclaimer out there, you know, if there is a clinical depression happening – that flower essences aren’t a replacement for any therapies or things that are being done for that. So we’re not recommending replacing medications or anything like that. Flower essences, the beauty of them is being able to use them no matter what else you’re doing for your health and your wellness. So, yeah, do you want to dive into talking a little bit about what flower essences we would use for SAD or seasonal affective disorder?
Kathleen Aspenns [00:04:05] For sure. And like you’re saying, the flower essences are beautiful complementary therapy. We’re certainly not recommending anybody do this exclusively necessarily. Especially if you have a really long standing issue or really profound issue, getting support is absolutely key. And there are lots of good supports out there for everyone, depending on what your level of resources are or financial reserves. All those things can impact how you can get help. But there is help out there. And we really want to encourage people to get help. Flower essences for the seasonal onset of the blues, we might say. Rather than pathologizing a lowness as depression. Everyone feels a certain level of sort of lowness and a quietness that comes with the winter. And that’s not necessarily pathological, just because it is a season that we’re supposed to be a little quieter and we’re supposed to be a little more reflective and introspective. And what can we do with that quality of the season that’s beneficial? My favorite first run at this would be to use the Lighten Up formula from the Alaskan Essences. This is one that I’ve used and recommended a lot in the spray version. Especially, I have a client whose husband would not really be interested in taking flower essences, but he likes when she mists him. So she’ll just go through the house, and just spraying Lighten Up around the house. And she said that it just absolutely shifted his mood, night and day and helped him get off of his depressed state of sort of being on the couch. He was definitely having some issues and it’s really shifted his mood. And it helps everyone in the house when you can go ahead and do that and shift the mood of the one individual because they impact all of us. Just being around somebody who’s depressed, it is very hard emotionally to be in that space. So Lighten Up is a great option – using the drops, also using the spray. It’s good to use both. If you’re really struggling, it’s really useful to use both. And Lighten Up is made out of essences that are, you know, in Alaska. They really “get” seasonal affective disorder. I mean, it’s a serious thing there when you only get an hour or two of daylight a day. So they really know how to work with it. And this formula was created for extreme expression of lack of daylight. So Lighten Up is a really good one. I’ve used it quite a lot. And you, Ro? have you been using this one?
Rochana Felde [00:06:52] Yeah, I do. And I recommend it a lot. Also, the room spray as you mentioned, I also like the FES Illumine quite a bit. And I really resonate with some of the essences that they’ve chosen for that formula that, particularly the St. John’s Wort, the Mustard and the Borage. They also include Explorer’s Gentian and Pine. But I think St. John’s Wort is just a key for any formula dealing with any kind of depressive state, but not just that. And I like what you’re saying about, let’s stop pathologizing the need to go in and be quiet, basically do some self reflection, to not be as social and, you know, honestly, to even eat more carbs. I mean, our body, as long as they’re complex enough, not full of unhealthy sugars, our body needs that during the winter. And it’s not a problem. You know, normally, if you’re already on a low carb diet, the winter is a time to give yourself a little relaxation in the strictness of that. Absolutely. Also, just along that line, vitamin D.
Rochana Felde [00:08:21] You know, a big part of what can cause the winter blues, as you call them. With less sunlight we’re not getting as much at D3 because of less sunlight, and most people in today’s world are already low and deficient in vitamin D. And I take it and I try to keep my levels up, but that’s definitely one that I have to work extra hard to have enough. And I notice a huge difference when I take a high quality D3 and, you know, a significant dose leading up to the winter. It’s very, very different than if I’m not supplementing. So it’s a really big one and it’s a really easy thing to do. And most doctors, any Western medical doctor, is pretty accommodating to just order a test for that these days. You know, it didn’t used to be that way, but they all now agree and and understand the significance of vitamin D. Not just for mood, but for your physical healing and your physical health and so that you don’t get sick as much.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:35] Part of vitamin D deficiency in the wintertime… We don’t get much sunlight and we have to cover our skin from the cold. We generate the vitamin D from sun exposure, don’t we? So, you know, now, even in the summertime, it’s like cover up and sunscreen. But there’s this balance, right? We need to get some sunlight in order to generate this or we have to supplement it.
Rochana Felde [00:09:56] Yeah, very important for health.
Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:59] But that’s that dynamic of St. John’s Wort, right? Yes, that’s what we were talking about. St. John’s Wort has that light quality, that light bringing quality. And even if it’s not literal light, it’s energetic light. It’s plant nature, spirit light, that we’re bringing in and we’re building that light in our spirit. So it’s kind of it all works together, both symbolically and quite literally as well.
Rochana Felde [00:10:24] It does. And St. John’s Wort is another one that’s one of those medicinal herbs that is also taken for “depression”. But the energetic of it in the flower essence and the herb as well is really helping to bring the light within and and letting that sort of infuse your soul. Kind of builds and fortifies the light structure around you and helps you integrate both the light and the dark. So it’s not about never having the darkness. It’s about integrating.
[00:39:53] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of the Flower Essence podcast.