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Fighting Against the Darkness

Yesterday, I looked out my window into the darkness. It was pitch black in my neighborhood, the glow of street lamps bleeding into the darkness as it invited the world to fall into night time slumber. I retired to my bed, preparing to drift off when I looked at my watch and realized that it was only 6:00 PM. I was immediately depressed.

We have come to that terrible time, my friends. It is the time of year when the days are too short and the nights are too long, the time when all we want to do is join the animals in their seasonal hibernation, pretending that winter is nothing more than an illusion until spring arrives to breathe life back into our lungs. It is so hard to remain inspired in the wintertime, especially when the darkness is at its peak.

However, the positive side of the spectrum dictates that this is the time to get your own light a shinin’. As Marianne Williamson once said, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” Alleviating the bleakness of winter is a heavy task, but it is one that can be achieved with nihilism’s greatest enemy, optimism.

If you’re starting to feel worn down by the shortened days, integrate some physical activity into your daily life. This can be anything from a brisk walk, to a blissful yoga class. After physical activity, the body and mind is revitalized with energy, remaining both powerful and stabilized. Spread the joy by inspiring a friend to join you. Together, you can find the mutual strength to block out any debilitating winter vibration.

The Holiday Season reminds us of the spirit of giving. It’s a time when family and friends get together to spread cheer at the height of winter, illuminating the darkness with an awesome light that lasts until the New Year. This being said, I must impress upon the fact that Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, or Kwanzaa are the only times when we can celebrate the love shared by the good people around us. Be sure the carry that spirit into the following months, spending as much time with you the people you care about as possible. Being in the presence of love will help you to maintain your unique light all year round.

Depressing circumstances can sometimes inspire unhealthy habits. It’s easy to gorge ourselves on things that are terrible for us, especially foods that are high in fat and highly processed. Be mindful of the things that you hold onto as a comfort and evaluate how you can transform that comfort element into something healthy. Smoker? Come up with an action plan to quit and enlist a friend for support. Coca Cola dependence? (I fall into this category). Substitute it for natural sugar-cane cola. Remember, unhealthy habits will only make you feel worse in the long run. By transforming them into something healthier, you are creating a better foundation for a happier life.

Don’t let the winter get you down. In nature, it is a time of rest and regeneration. Keep yourself moving. Keep yourself loving. Soon after, you will find that the magic of winter is something that can keep you warm inside, if not out!

Contributing author:Lauren Messervey.
Lauren is the social media coordinator for Yoga Tree. An avid Yogi with a love for Tree Pose, she is originally from Atlantic Canada and joined the bustling city of Toronto in June of last year. You may find her in the Midtown region, practicing Yoga or blogging for Yoga Tree. She is currently completing her first novel, set to be released Spring 2014.