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Winter's SADness
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There once was a queen who was normally compassionate and kind, but each winter, she fell into a deep melancholy. She would cry for no reason, and she couldn’t eat or sleep. She summoned her wisest advisors to explain the cause of her condition, but to no avail. Finally, the royal gardener slowly approached her throne. “Come into my garden, Majesty, and I will disclose your dilemma.” The queen was so desperate; she did as she was bid. 

When she went out to the garden for the first time in weeks, she noticed that the vivid colors of summer had faded, and the garden seemed bare, but it was no less beautiful in its solitude. “Majesty, it is not your body or your mind that is ailing,” said the gardener. “It is your soul that is in need of healing. For while you are a mighty and powerful queen, you are not Divine. Earthly souls ebb and flow in sorrow and joy according to the seasons. These are the days to look within for warmth and light. Embrace the ebb, my queen, and do not fear the darkness. For as the night follows day, the light will return with the spring.” The unhappy queen considered this wisdom thoughtfully and asked the gardener how he possessed the secret knowledge of inner peace during the seasons of emotion. The gardener led her to a brass sundial. It read: This too, shall pass.

New Perspective

According to Norman, E. Rosenthal, M.D., twenty-five million Americans experience the effects of winter depression, also called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The lack of sunlight and warmth during the winter months can cause us to feel discouraged or down. We move from the busy brightness of December, with its color and glow, right into January, which feels barren and lifeless by comparison. This winter, take the time to treat yourself to a new perspective:
  • When you take down your holiday decorations, make sure you replace them with something special. For example, why not purchase a bouquet of white roses to adorn your mantle. Or you infuse your kitchen or bedroom with bright bursts of color to help alleviate the starkness of winter.
  • Use the fresh start of a new year to do some organization and cleaning, which will make you feel better about yourself and your surroundings. 
  • Purchase a new day planner, take it to a restaurant or coffee shop, and fill it in while you enjoy a hot cup of tea or chocolate. 
  • Cook a pot of chili or soup and bake a loaf of bread. Then invite someone special to enjoy it with you. The smell and taste will warm your tummy and spirit. 
  • Browse through gardening catalogs and plan your ideal spring garden.  
Take time to embrace the ebb of the seasons, and when the chill of winter begins to lift and you see the sunlight of a new season, you will find yourself asking, “Could it be spring already?”

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By Diana Hardin. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

References: Rosenthal, Norman D. Winter Blues. Guilford Press. 2005

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