When doubt + winter darkness feel like they’re taking over

Oh gosh, was it dark this morning!

We’re losing light like crazy, here in Alaska, AND it’s been an absolutely frigid November. On cloudy days, it can feel like waking up in a cave, which, for me, can make getting out of bed oh so hard. 


The energy of this time of year can trigger lots of challenging internal feelings like isolation and self-doubt.


And I definitely feel that. How about you?

So, since winter is going to be with us for awhile, what are we to do?

On these kinds of days, I would love to just go back to bed and eat pancakes for breakfast but, sadly, that’s not a viable option every day of the week… 

Which brings me to the larger guiding question:

How can you support yourself through negative emotions in winter?


An Ayurvedic perspective

Winter energy, by nature, is very internally focused. It’s about drawing inward for contemplation and deep rest. This is fantastic and so needed after a hectic summer.

However, when this energy becomes unbalanced, it can lead to feelings of isolation and self-doubt.

These two feelings are very “me” focused… and often quite negative. 

The thoughts behind them tend to be self-defeating and feel very, very true:

  • I don’t know what to do
  • I don’t have enough friends/energy/time/other thing
  • ______ part of my life really sucks right now

In Ayurveda, we see this kind of thinking as a symptom of imbalance and, when something is out of balance, we use it’s opposite to cultivate more balance.


In this case, the opposite would be turning your focus from inward stillness to outward motion. 


Here are some questions to guide you in this practice

  • How can I be present in my day in a way that contributes to my or others wellbeing?
  • How can I be of service for others today?
  • How can I take one small action to serve my mission/vision/intention? 

Just changing your focus can be incredibly powerful – and sometimes that is enough.