top of page

An Ode to Seasonal Sadness


DEC 2022

I used to associate the sadness I suffered with in the wintertime with what is commonly thought of as seasonal depression. In my early to late twenties I would do whatever I could in the winter to try to get this utter melancholy I had to go away, so much as to even prescribe myself tropical relocations for the entire season. I was almost…scared of winter.

But lately I am starting to have a much deeper and visceral understanding and appreciation of the wintertime. I am starting to realize that the season I used to at all costs avoid, can actually be rather liberating and revitalizing…and yes, sad. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing?

When we look around at the natural world during a traditional winter, we see leafless trees, shorter and darker days (in the Northern Hemisphere), many animals hibernating and nesting, and non perennial plants dying. It is overall a season of decay. In Chinese Medicine, winter is a yin season which means it is associated with cold, slow, inward, and darkness. With all of that being said, one could say it makes total sense for winter to be a time of sadness.

It is literally a time for our bodies, minds, and emotions to rest and decomposition. Much like a New Moon, winter is a time to embrace and reflect on our inner world and our darkness—all to reconfigure and be “reborn” anew just in time for the spring. (And we don’t necessarily need to be somewhere cold to allow our winter to do its thing.)

So while wintertime sadness very well is seasonal depression from one standpoint, what if at the same time it is also a natural process? A process that nature goes through, that animals go through—a primal initiation before we blossom in the spring. Because what decays and decompositions also transforms into fertilizer for new life or new ways of being.

I wonder what would happen if we stripped the whole “negative”/needs fixing connotation of seasonal depression? I wonder what would happen if we instead embraced it, got curious of what it sheds light on, allowed it, and started to see it as a form of…dare I say…normal?

And better yet, what if being with the inner darkness that winter tends to illuminate is actually sweet soul medicine…as well as a really important part of our personal exploration & discovery?



Recent Posts

See All

BRITTANY HANDLER OCT 2022 It's quite amazing how much self love and self discovery has become so prominent in the last 5 years or so. Something that I have noticed is also floating around is the roman

BRITTANY HANDLER OCT 2022 "Self-sabotage" is a term I’ve come to dislike. I hear it used frequently in the wellness community and I wholeheartedly believe it’s being misused. While I certainly do not

BRITTANY HANDLER SEPT 2022 Change seems to be a huge theme right now. Not just with myself—I am noticing it all around me too. There are big moves, career shifts, big life changes, and not to mention

bottom of page