When you look about at this time of year, nature seems to have gone to sleep. Trees look like weird sculptures – I get all worried and think “that new tree I just bought looks as if it is dead!” Then I look around and notice so do many other trees; this is perfectly natural. The season of winter invites us to rest, turn inward and take this unique time to relax and find inner peace and tranquillity amidst the darkness.
The velvety, soft darkness of the longest day is something we tend not to like, and sometimes are afraid of. Look differently at it, see it as an invitation to take a break – consider our ancestors, without electric lighting – they had no choice but to down tools and have a bit of a hibernation – just like the trees, just like nature intended. The lack of daylight hours makes us more tired due to the lack of melatonin produced in your brain; it’s time to pause for thought…
Our lives are so full of hustle and bustle – our culture promotes ideas such as – ‘rest is for the meek’ – ‘lunch is for wimps’ – but, if you spend a little time slowing down – going with the flow of nature, this will ensure that you are refuelled, recharged, and rearing to go in the spring time – which is just around the corner…
Try these ideas this winter to help boost your vitality and ensure you “OVERWINTER” yourself in a healthy way…
1 Go Outdoors
Listen to the whisperings of nature – enjoy the feeling of winter sunlight or the cool crispness of a frosty morning on your cheeks. This is very helpful to recharge the amounts of vitamin D that can be lacking in our bodies at this time of year.
2 Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Although we feel like sleeping more, the body only needs its usual 8 hours. If you find that you can’t sleep, try making a lavender eye pillow or using a drop or 2 of lavender essential oil on the corner of your pillow.
3 Exercise Daily
It is difficult to remain motivated with the evenings being so dark and weather so harsh; what can help is to find an activity that you can do with others – a team sport or simply arranging something with a friend or two. There is evidence to support that people stick with activities that they do with others more than if they go it alone.
4 Eat Healthily
When fresh vegetables and fruit are more expensive and harder to come by if you grow your own – try out new recipes using spices and herbs to add interest, variety and flavour. This is the time of year when we can gain weight by eating comfort food and over indulging in pastry and pies… so watch out and investigate what a warm salad is or a new recipe for a vegetable tagine…
5 Learn to Relax
The shorter daylight hours can make you feel more stressed – so much to do and so little time… Find activities that help you to unwind (soak in the bath/listening to soothing music/relaxation CD/breathing exercises/massage/meditation) and weave in one every day – research shows that it’s much better to undo a little bit of stress everyday rather than build up masses of stress and tension during the week and then completely blob out for the whole weekend.
Remember, overwintering yourself in a healthy way will mean that you will have energy and vitality to give out come the spring time… May you and all those you love have joy, health and all things good!
Winter Blessings to You – Have a Restful Christmas and Peaceful New Year!