February really blows. I think we can all agree on that? At least anyone that lives outside of Arizona or California? I hear a lot of complaints that it's hard to get out of bed, hard to get motivated, "I just feel blah." I say, I'm right there with you, and so were the last 20 people I saw today! Depression is a real illness, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is a clinical condition that has a lot of similar symptoms. I also think most of us living in the midwest suffer from some of these symptoms annually.
We have a lot in common with bears this time of year. We prefer to be sedentary, eat comforting foods to put on a little extra fat, and stay indoors. It is harder to do the things that help us feel better, like get some sunshine, exercise and eat right. It is especially hard to maintain a regular sleep and wake schedule, since we'd rather lay in bed well past dawn. I have observed the same things in my kids, by the way. Half the mornings my son starts crying when I go in to wake him up at 7am. "I'm TIRED, mom!" Again, I'm right there with you. Now get up, before I start crying, too!
I have had a harder time getting into a vigorous yoga practice. I have a bunch of miscellaneous aches and pains, I'm tired, and I can't get enough carbs. Mmmm carbs. It is good to take it slower in the winter, but I have a hard time determining if I need to step it up to boost my energy, or if my body is saying slow down for crying out loud and let me rest. So I was pushing it for a few weeks, and ended up feeling really wiped out. The last couple of weeks I have taken a few days off from the tough classes, and have kept my home practice more grounding. Seated asanas and forward folds following a moderate series of standing poses is enough. I follow this with a grande soy chai latte, and later in the afternoon have a couple of squares of dark chocolate. I don't know that those things are "clinically" helpful, but I sure look forward to them!
I am trying to listen to what I need right now, and trust that I'll be ready to bounce out of the cave when spring arrives.