The sun is getting stronger, staying light longer each day, slowly (very slowly) warming a bit. Soon it will be Spring and we'll wonder where Winter went to. But for some, especially those in the North, the winter can seem unending. We've had a record snowfall this year - no doubt due to the volcano eruption in Iceland last year. Then last week we had a couple of beautiful 60 degree days. It seemed the cold dark was finally behind us....but, as is often the case here in the North East, the weather changes on a dime. Now we are back to the frigid cold, and snow.
I don't personally suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) but when we get so close to spring, with no fresh sprouts (or you know, ground) to show for it, even I can feel down. Here are some remedies to pull some Spring into your spirit.
1. Get some fresh cut flowers. I bought some for our Imbolc altar and they are still blooming and beautiful. I think I paid a whopping $8 for all of them. They are bright purple (not a natural color) and some ingenious person even dipped the petals in a bit of glitter so they sparkle ever so slightly. Now, I personally hate having fresh cut flowers in my home. I hate how they smell when they start to die, I hate the pain of changing the water all the time, and I'm not fond of the idea of chopping the Goddess' beautiful creations for nothing better than stimulating my eye. But when I'm feeling down, and I'm struggling to feel the Maiden Goddess I will get some fresh cut flowers. They remind me the Goddess is protecting the seeds and the God is growing stronger to help life grow (and melt the snow!)
2. Light some candles, grab a glass of wine (or I like steamed milk for this better, with a shot of caramel and chocolate), I might grab a steamy novel, or I might just want to read to my kids. The point is, being warm and cozy - this helps me to think of the cusp of spring when the Goddess has all the world protected and warm in her loving embrace. It's amazing how good we can feel after a bout of comfort.
3. Sex anyone? Seriously, or you can take a good workout class. This time of year is not my, er, most energetic. Heck some of my body hasn't seen a razor in several months...so I'm not at my most sexy feeling. But doing a bit of grooming and setting the scene for a romantic rendevou can be fantastic - don't underestimate the power of the "happy hormones" that get released after a bout of sex or a good workout. They can carry you through the darkest of days.
4. Start an herb garden - you can do this inside, getting ready to transplant them outside or into larger pots once Spring arrives. It always lifts my spirits to see SOME sign of life returning to the land.
5. Cleansing & Smudging. Dust is a harbor of negativity. With our heaters pumping full throttle and no air circulation our home is a breeding ground for dust during the winter months. And with an asthmatic son, and my DH and I suffering from allergies, that dust is an enemy of old. So do a spring cleaning, then smudge with some Sage (to get rid of the negativity). Then I like to fill the house with scents of spring - citrus, floral, etc. You could also rearrange Furniture. Seriously! I don't think most realize how stuck in routine we get. Try moving the couch so it faces the windows, add some mirrors (which will add light and make rooms look larger), repaint, add new drapes with a lighter fabric to let in natural light! The curtain thing is especially true in my home. We live in an old house, and the windows are very drafty, so we hand up fleece blankets as curtains each winter - making our home pretty cave-like. It's always a huge relief to uncover the windows and let a little natural light in.