If you live in the northern hemisphere like I do, right now the days are short, making it dark, a lot. 

It’s cold with plenty of gloomy and gray days. Much of your life is done in the dark. Hopefully, you have a flashlight.

You miss the sun. 

My husband started leaving the back porch light on and the curtains open so he can look out and still see light. 

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (yep I said that) Even though it might not feel like it the days are going to start getting longer little by little. 

Solstice is the moment when half the Earth is tilted the farthest away from the sun giving us the shortest day of the year and then by some miracle, the very next day, the Earth starts tilting back toward the sun. 

This year Solstice is December 21st. 

The thing is it’s still dark and the joy (and craziness) of the holidays will come to a screeching halt and you will already want winter to be over even though it just started. 

It’s the perfect storm for the winter blues.  

You may feel a little anti-social, grumpy, tired, and downright blah.

Honestly, I think some of that is the letdown from the holidays being over. Perfectly normal. Honor where you are. Sleep. Binge watch Netflix. Finish the last of the cookies. Play with your new toys. Tell your partner not today. 

And then, get out of your jammies, brush the crumbs off your belly, throw out the rest of the sweets(you don’t have to eat it all), and get back on track.

Come on you can do it. And, of course, herbs can help.

But even before you reach for your herbs get outside. Bundle up, go for a walk, and breathe in some fresh air. 

Did you know the smell of fresh air actually helps with stress, increases happiness, and boosts energy? Such a simple hack. 

All that air circulating around your house is a breeding ground for germs and toxins. Kind of like being on a plane. Yuck.

Heck, you can even just open the front door occasionally and breathe deeply. (but I suggest getting your butt off the couch and outside) 

Exercise. You know all the benefits. Do it.

Vitamin D. That essential nutrient that’s created when your skin is exposed to sunlight. And now the sun isn’t shining and even if it is you probably aren’t out in a tank top at 30 degrees. (or maybe you are?)

Plenty of studies show how important Vitamin D is especially if you are prone to depression and the winter blues. 

(If you need a good vitamin D supplement let me know. I use one that will definitely raise your levels)

3 Herbs for Winter Blues

St. John’s Wort

This scraggly looking plant takes the heat and light from the summer sun and holds it in her flowers making it a perfect ally for the long winter months.  

It’s all about joy, warmth, resilience, and happiness. All the things you need to get through the winter. 

St. John’s Wort is well known for being effective for depression and winter blues. 

The sciencey bit about the plant is that it keeps your feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain and that lifts your mood and helps you feel more content. 

Lemon Balm

If you take a Lemon Balm leaf between your fingers and rub them together and inhale you might just find your shoulders relaxing and your breath slowing. That is the gift of Lemon Balm. 

Those heavy, dark feelings are no match for the smell of Lemon Balm. She will bring a smile to your face and happiness to your heart. 

Lemon Balm is a true Earth mother and helps balance feelings and emotions so you feel nurtured and cared for. 

This plant is soft and gentle but strong and confident. Use Lemon Balm to help you thrive when life feels hard and you need support and a little sunshine to brighten your day. 

Chamomile

Life is full of triggers and small stresses. If you let them accumulate they can create a chronic state of fear, anxiety, worry, and exhaustion. 

Chamomile can help you find your inner peace. It inspires you to find that light that lives inside you. 

It can help you relax and release stored tension in your gut, your nervous system, and your solar plexus (3rd chakra). 

Chamomile is yellow at its center, the color of the sun, and can help transform your winter blues by giving you energy and lighting your internal fire.

It brings delight back into the long dark dreary days of winter.  

A Blessing for Winter Solstice

May the longest night and the shortest day, 

bring rest to your mind and soul, I pray.

May you find guidance and may you find peace, 

as the cycle of light will slowly increase.

Embrace the magic that the darkness bears, 

breath deep in the chill and the shift in the air. 

May you always be blessed with the light from within, 

and may well-being be yours as the new cycle begins.

~Author unknown

Everything begins in the darkness. The place where nothing grows, but from which everything is born. 

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