Seasonal Slump? Try Self Care

November 6, 2019

Massage Therapy OttawaAre you feeling sluggish, perhaps run down? Is that seasonal slump hitting you? Yep, you guessed it.

Winter Is Coming

Self care is KEY during the winter season! Longer nights and shorter days means less vitamin D and sun rays.  At this time of year, it is crucial to step up our self care game, and I am here to help you take a step in the right direction!

One option for combating the SAD’s  (seasonal affective disorder) is meditation. 

We have 2 systems in our body: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is our “flight or fight” system where we are constantly stimulated and always go go go. Where as our PNS is our “rest and digest”. When we find ourselves “stuck” in  fight or flight mode, this can put our systems in to a state overdrive or even burn out!  A lot of this can be attributed to SADS and seasonal stress!!  Meditation can certainly help calm an overly stimulated SNS system and with the longer nights and shorter days ahead, what better time than to take advantage of the darkness and meditate?! 

During the winter season things can get stressful!! Christmas is right around the corner and everyone is trying to meet deadlines for the new year. I also definitely don’t see anyone outside in the snow “catching rays”.

Start by taking 20 minutes out of your daily routine and try out some belly breathing exercises. TRY taking nice big deep belly breaths and focusing on inhaling for 3 seconds and exhaling for 3 seconds.

It doesn’t need to be fancy. Have a seat in a favorite chair, sit on the ground with your legs crossed or even lay down flat on a yoga mat. The idea is that you take time to relax and think inwards, focusing on what is going on in your body. Can you feel where you hold all your stress? Are you allowing your jaw to un-clench and eyebrows to relax? 

** Keep in mind – if you are resting your eyes, trying to meditate and all you can think of is the work that you haven’t finished, maybe meditation is not for you. 

If meditation is really not your cup of tea, booking  a massage is really the next best thing (who am I kidding… it’s definitely the best thing ever!)  Massage Therapy brings a multitude of benefits to your systems, but 3 key points that are crucial during this seasonal slump.

  • Massage increases your PNS, which is the “rest and digest” system. Aka the belly gurgles or falling asleep during your treatment. It allows you to feel more rested and turns off your sympathetic system that may always seem to be firing on all cylinders.  
  • Massage decreases levels of cortisol in the body. Bye bye stress! 
  • Massage increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These neurotransmitters in the brain help balance your mood. OH HAPPY DAYS!!

Whether its at home or in a treatment room at Whole Therapy, these are all things our systems need during this gloomy time of the year. Self care allows us to stabilize, take a much needed deep breath, and balance our bodies to prevent imbalances such as burn out or seasonal slumps. Try it out at home with some meditation or stretching and if it’s not cutting it, come on in and book a massage. It’s time to take care of our bodies, as we only have one to live in.


Stephanie Lanthier
RMT