Ease your way into winter
We can all feel the change in the air since November has arrived. The days have gotten shorter, darkness falls earlier in the evening and the temperature has dropped. It’s time to snuggle beside the fire, wrap up warm to go outside. You can even see the change in nature as trees become barer, birds quieten, there is no new life or growth as nature conserves its energy and enters stillness, hibernation a time of rest.
In Chinese medicine, it is the ‘yin’ time of year. A time to promote stillness, reflection and nourish our spiritual and emotional lives, eat warming and nourishing foods and enjoy the quietness.
Yin energy contributes to our emotional stability, mental activity, and our ability to relax and attaining restorative sleep, among other things. When our yin energy is deficient, we may notice symptoms such as moodiness, irritability, depression, an inability to concentrate or think straight, insomnia, menstrual and fertility symptoms, etc. Ways that yin is often depleted is through excessive activity, little rest, and the heating properties of alcohol and heavy foods.
For some this time of year affects them more than others as they experience Seasonal Deficit Disorder or Wintertime blues.
My top tips include:
- Rest more: As the time changes, the weather gets cooler and night-time falls earlier, spend your time resting and being peaceful, content. Make an effort to go to bed earlier even if just one/two nights in the week. Let go of your worries and allow your mind and body to rest.
- Enjoy warm baths: Epsom salt baths are lovely or use essential oils. Some of my favourites include adding two drops of each of ylang ylang, lavender and bergamot oils to soothe away any stresses, strains or tiredness from the Christmas buzz or add two drops of each of geranium, lavender and sandalwood. I also love rose or jasmine on their own with some Epsom salts for relaxation.
- Have a digital curfew: Limit how much time you spend on your phone, computer or watching television on a daily basis and a curfew once a week.
- Meditate: This is a lovely time of year to sit or lie down and practice some meditations, wrapping yourself up cosy blankets and allowing your body to surrender to the stillness of winter.
- Eat, warm nourishing foods: Treat your body by feeding it warm, loving foods and drinks. Porridge, hearty soups, stews and slow-cooked meals are all great this time of year. Avoid salads and cold drinks or foods straight for the fridge.
- Reflect and practice gratitude: This lovely time to reflect on all your successes and achievements over the last year. Be grateful for all the gifts you have received this year. It may be nice to list everything out and each day to write down three things you are grateful for.
- Wrap up and get outside: On a sunny day, be sure to wrap up warm and venture outside. Feel the winter sunshine on your face and absorb all the goodness of nature. In Chinese medicine, there is particular emphasis on keeping your feet and legs warm, helping blood circulation throughout the whole of your body.
Especially, with Christmas just around the corner, it is even more important to make some time for yourself.
With love & gratitude,