Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hibernating for Winter

With all of the holiday celebration surrounding us, hibernation seems counter intuitive. Yet the rhythm of nature tells us, with it's cooler weather and shortened days, that this is the time to turn inward. Rather than moving into action, take the time for internal self-care and self-examination. It is fitting that work and school schedules pause and that we take a short break from the momentum that has built since last Summer. Gather energy and data so that when Spring arrives in March, you are able to intelligently plant your seeds in fertile soil.

Nature has a wisdom, and different times are for different actions. Winter is for heartier foods in smaller portions. Winter is for indoor sports or for enduring the challenging elements of the outdoors. It is time to slow down and take stock of where you are on your path, for it is essential in order to map out your course. Holiday time is a marker for what it was like last year. I always like to do an end of the year wrap up, creating a list of my accomplishments, my trials, changes, trips, and anything notable that occurred in this year.

Here are some ideas for slowing down and going inward:

  • Cook something hearty, like butternut squash soup, or a stew with all the vegetables in your fridge. Take the time to try out a new Winter recipe to share with family or friends.
  • Read a novel. I enjoy going back to the classics. Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence or Dostoevsky. Choose something rich with description. Perhaps an author you missed along the way.
  • Practice yoga at home. There is nothing harder than leaving your home when it's dark or chilly out. Commit to creating an exercise regiment or yoga practice that you can do in your home at least twice a week.
  • Get outside. Bundle up and take a walk. Being connected to the elements is another way to get in sync with nature.
  • Up level your meditation practice. In the stillness of Winter meditations become deeper. 
  • Hot water bottle. Nothing like a warm body, or bottle in your bed. 
  • Green Tea. Stimulating and a great anti-oxidant, green tea is my go-to. Try Jasmine Green.
  • Catch up on your binge watching! I admit that I am not the best at this. I usually let someone else take the lead, and jump in on their binge watching. Nothing like a little entertainment to help you relax your busy mind.
  • Podcasts. Yup. That App on your iPhone has a lot to tell you. I love The Moth and This American Life.
Join me in slowing down, and enjoying it! All will get done. Nothing to accomplish. Nowhere to go, except inward. 

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