I have a confession to make: I LOVE WINTER.
Before you write me off as a crazy person and stop reading,hear me out. I actually love all of the seasons. I’ve found that I like change. I embrace the change in energy, from the external changes in our environment to the change in pace and feeling from season to season. Over the years I have started really paying attention to how I live during these times. Adopting the stride of nature and going with the flow of the seasons has really made me more in sync with myself. And so, the Winter really allows me to embrace my natural tendency to go slow and be introspective. A good snow storm makes me feel less guilty about staying in all day, putting on my stay-at-home socks and reading a great book or baking. And after a year filled with the long crazy days of Summer, Autumns so beautiful how could you not be outside and a busy, holiday laden December,it feels right that the universe is telling us to be still.
Still not convinced that you too should embrace Winter? Would it help if I told you that people have been practicing this way of living for centuries? The ancient Chinese created a system of medicine that is still used to this day. It has evolved over time and is still used to treat modern disease. These concepts branch out to not only treat the body and physical aspects, it helps you to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
If that still doesn’t convince you…what else are you going to do? It’s cold, icy and everyone else is in hibernation. So why not give a whirl?
Seasonal living means living in harmony with nature. Each season has many different modalities which help us to change our behaviors and habits as the seasons change to create more balance in our life.As we enter this Winter season we should be adjusting our lifestyle to reflect what is happening in our external environment.
Below are ways that you can start to adapt to the Winter season.
Rest + Restore
Embrace the pace of nature. There’s a reason animals hibernate this time of year, to recharge after a long year of hunting and gathering. Similar to your year just not so primal. J It’s not only good for your mind but your physical body as well. The health of the body is so important, not just for its own sake, but because the interconnectedness of the body, mind and spirit. Anything done to the body has equal consequence for the mind and spirit. If you feel good physically, you will be more balanced emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Therefore, better equipped to handle any sort of heavy emotions that may arise during this season, commonly associated with depression.
Nourish yourself with warming foods such as root vegetable and whole grains and small amounts of protein. Warming soups, roasted vegetables and hearty grains should be the staple of your winter diet. Also, drink a lot of water! Winter can suck the moisture out of your body, which can lead to severe dehydration both internally and externally. Your body just does not function correctly without the correct amount of hydration.
I have been making this soup over and over again for the past few months. It’s literally the definition of warmth. If your vegetarian, simply leave out the bacon, still delicious.
Your exercise routine should become more mindful and slow. Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, QiGong are great types of movement for this time of year. Sometimes this time of year I can’t even get myself out of the house (often because of all the snow) so I’ve made a sacred space in my home to practice. I found a quiet corner of my house and simply put things there that make me happy. My favorite Red Flower French Lavender candle, my salt lamp, precious stones and trinkets that have meaning to me, my favorite yoga rug, inspirational pictures and a few Palo Santo wood sticks. Just the thought of it puts me at ease.If you are feeling like you have cabin fever, try coming in to THE pearl for what they call table yoga, our South Seas Stretch OR a restorative class at The Happy Yogi - our partner in wellness
Tune In To You
With all this slowing down and resting there’s a lot of idle time, time to be thoughtful about the rest of the year. Winter is the season of visualizing and planning. Think of anything you start writing down as your blueprint for the year ahead. If fear starts to creep in…fear of change or fear of not knowing what you want, that’s OK…write it all down, let it flow. Fear is the emotion that most associates with Winter, it is sometimes scary to have idle time to sit with our emotions and thoughts.
Listen to your inner monologue. Ask yourself questions, become an journalist, a researcher, a scientist…the subject: YOU.I love these questions asked by another one of our partners in wellness, Lotus Wei: http://www.lotuswei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/YourLuminousLegacy.pdf
In conclusion, every change of season brings new energy into our environment leaving a tangible effect on the way we think and feel. Surrender and learn what Winter has to offer.
OK I have to go now…we’re getting a blizzard and I have some baking to do…and maybe a little "Snowga"