Winter is often a under appreciated season. While cold and dark, it's a beautiful time where we are meant to slow down, reserve our energy, and draw our attention inward.
Winter is a season to make time to reflect, to whisper about our dreams, let ideas gestate, and rest both body and mind for the renewal of spring.
So many individuals really despise this time of the year. --> Mic-drop: I used to be one of them.
I now find this seasons so inviting, and I wish to share this feeling with you.
Winter is an important part of the cycle of seasons, and it offers us more gems than we recognize. If we just adjust our perspective and look for these little sparkling gems...our relationship with ourselves and this season will likely shift
So, how are some ways we can EMBRACE this quiet and dark period of gestation?
ALLOW YOURSELVES UN-GUILTED REST
Yes. Rest more than you think you need to. This is a time to reserve our energy. This is a time to get adequate sleep. Ways to support this:
When you wake, give yourself an extra 10 minutes of quiet time with your tea/coffee before starting your day.
Allow yourself an extra hour in bed with a book.
Draw a bath and add your favorite oils and salts.
Allow yourself to migrate to the bed earlier than usual.
Snuggle up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa.
Look at your to-do list, and ask do you REALLY need to accomplish all of that today? Slash something off, and take that extra 30minutes to stretch, practice breath, read quietly, listen to music as you mindfully move.
We westerners are always pushing ourselves at work, in relationships, with to-dos, workouts...this is a season to allow TIME and SPACE for you to let go of this constant state of YANG and embrace the cooling waters of YIN. which leads me to...
DEVELOP A PRACTICE TO FEED YOUR FEMME 'YIN' SIDE
Yes, this includes you men. Humans have both a masc. & femme side. Yin and Yang, and this is beautiful season to feed that yin that resides within us all.
Yin is cooling, grounding, flowing, low energy, patience, stillness, introspective.
So what does "feeding our yin" look like?
This is a wonderful time to develop a "gentle exercise" practice. A good suggestion is yoga!
For any practicing yogi or beginner yogi...try the style of YIN YOGA! If you do not have the practice in your life, winter time is a beautiful season to take up this practice of slowing down, going deep into the body, and releasing. (BTW-You can join me for a virtual 'Mindful Yin & Savasana" practice at Asheville Yoga Center on Tuesdays :)
Other ways to connect to your yin aspect:
Get out into nature daily
Reduce amount of screen time
Stay home in the evening hours
Substitute herbal tea for your morning coffee
Have a soothing bed time ritual
Make a point to try and go to bed at a regular time
EAT THE SEASON!
Yes, calling all root vegetables! Sweet potatoes, carrots, even squash, sprouts - Look at what foods are in flourish and grow during the winter season & consume those. Be kind to your digestion and eat easy digestible meals like:
Extra cup of herbal tea
Allow yourself time to learn a recipe that you've been wanting to learn, and be intimate with the process. Really smell the herbs, feel the textures, and allow the process to evoke connection to self and to the sustenance you're preparing. Be slow and mindful with this task, and see what little pleasures arise and ground you into the present moment.
My hope, is to revolutionize the view of winter, and for it to be a time where we all come home to ourselves. For it to be a time to allow Lucious rest and dreamy calm. A time where we go inward for introspection and nurture ourselves. It is a time to be still and store up for spring.
I hope these few tips are helpful for you connecting to the winter season and for connecting to self!