The days are getting shorter and colder as we move from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice. For many of us, that means hot cocoa, eggnog, sweaters, and boots. But for some, it means that a dark dragon rears its head: seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder is a common type of depression that occurs at a particular time during the year. For most people, it happens during the shorter and darker times of the year. Many people experience it during the winter but some start seeing symptoms as early as October.
Like with many chronic conditions, pre-emptive care can mean lessening or completely eliminating symptoms. Check out these six ways to alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
Nothing says fall to me more than a cup of hot apple cider and a stack of books on my side table.
Some of you know this, many of you don’t: this isn’t my first blog. It’s my third! The last two faded into obscurity but the very first one was called ‘Shelfhelpless’ because I have an eternal love of self-help books.
So for this second blogtober post, I’d like to share six of my favorite shelf-help books in the hopes that you can find the same sort of joy in them that I have.
In the last post, I spent a ton of time on a difficult topic: the health risks of mommy wine culture.
We don’t like to look at it. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to hear about it. Just let us have our wine and relax. We worked 98 hours this week and we’ve earned it.
For some of you, it was a hard read. For some it was eye-opening. And for a few of you, it was “alarmist bullshit.” One particular mom said that I should be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. When I asked her what the solution was she said,
The solution is for you to mind what’s in your glass and stop worrying about everyone else.
I get it. I do. And maybe if I wasn’t a healthcare practitioner, minding my own glass would be easier. However, alcohol isn’t good for anyone.
According to the World Health Organization,* “overall there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and more than 60 types of disease and injury. Alcohol is estimated to cause about 20-30% of worldwide esophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, epilepsy, and motor vehicle accidents.” Every year, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths.
So why, then, has #winemom become a growing hashtag? Why has this mommy wine culture simultaneously become a joke and a social movement? And why is it just moms?
Why are we willing to risk depression, anxiety, weight gain, osteoporosis, premature menopause, menstrual irregularity, infertility, systemic inflammation, stomach issues, gingivitis, impaired decision making, heart disease and a wide variety of cancers for the relief of a single glass of wine at the end of the night?
Because it’s our only choice.
At some point our society stood up and said that we would rather sacrifice the health and well-being of our mothers than to give them the community and support they need.
“Just keep a bottle of wine in the bathroom. You’re going to need it. Trust me, it’s the only alone time you’re going to get.”
This is an actual piece of advice I got while I was pregnant.
Because of the person I am, I chose not to challenge her in the moment. But honestly, it rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t until recently I finally nailed it down: why is wine the necessary component of alone time? Why did I have to hide the wine in the bathroom?
Why has wine become synonymous with relaxation and self-care for moms?
Mommy wine culture is a thing, but we don’t limit it to just wine. Jokes extend to beer, vodka, margaritas, mimosas and marijuana. And while there’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation we have to ask ourselves – why is alcohol the socially accepted answer to mama needing to relax.
We’re coming up on the halfway point of liver season and I promise I’ll start talking about something else with the next blog post. But understanding the elements of Classical Chinese medicine is crucial to recognizing patterns of imbalance in yourself.
That’s why this year my focus is on teaching you the foundations, so that you can bring seasonal living together with learning what your body needs, and what season your body is in. Because while we are part of the world, we are not always in synch with it.
This blog post is about imbalances in the liver system and what it looks like when our qi isn’t flowing optimally.
Spring seems like it’s a long way off in Minnesota. Just last month we hit a record for snow fall in February. But cold and snow notwithstanding, the wood energy of spring is still flowing.
Now that I’ve covered how to live in accordance to each season, I thought it would be a good time to move to talking about the elements in Chinese medicine.
Just like the elements of the periodic table, the elements of Chinese medicine represent the basic components. You’ll recognize a lot of the movement and terminology in this post from the spring living blog, but this one will take it to another level.
The Complementary Care Police are probably going to come and take my holistic health practitioner card away for saying this, but: I really don’t like detoxes.
I know that they’re all the rage and for good reason – the good ones, when done right, are great! But there are a ton of bad ones out there, and they’re usually done incorrectly or at a time that’s harmful to patients. It’s time that we, as a holistic community, have a chat about that.