Winter is a time for rest, restoration and the internal work of quieting the mind and creating peace in our hearts. The restoration of winter is important to support the balance of the yearly rhythm and it is a good time to take up habits that nourish our well-being and increase positivity.
Tools for the Mind
Guided Imagery – With your breath slow, steady and deep, allow your mind to shift focus from the stream of thoughts to the peaceful rhythm of your breath. As thoughts rush in trying to grab your attention, imagine you’re able to contain each thought by packaging it up and placing it to your side. Continue to do this with each thought that comes, recognizing the space between thoughts after you’ve set the package down.
In the empty space, allow yourself to envision a body of water. Find where you feel comfortable with this body of water, floating out in it, on the shore, looking from afar, etc… Allow the water to calm you, absorb any negative emotion; and when you feel completely relaxed, allow the water to simply reflect your beauty, along with the beauty of the world.
Positive Psychology – When we occupy our time with creating or reflecting on positive things it changes the way our brains work. Now is the best time to shift patterns to enhance positive thinking! Every day this winter, cultivate some good habits by listing what you’re grateful for no matter how small — journal about a positive experience you had earlier in the day — share a positive message with a friend or loved one.
Tools for the Body
Nutrition – Food can be our medicine, or it can be our poison. Cooked, warm foods this time of year provide the body the best resource. Soups are ideal for combining easy to digest foods into a single dish. Work toward having focused time for meals, free of any distractions or multi-tasking. Use 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar before you eat, light a candle at the table and be sure everything is attended to before you sit down to eat.
Foods to emphasize this season:
- Root Vegetables – sweet potato, potato, carrot, beets
- Nutritive Plants – squashes, apples, berries, quinoa, wild rice, sprouts, and micro greens
- Plant Protein – black, pinto, mung beans, and miso fermented soybean
- Restorative Food – bone broth, and organ meats
For a nutritional reset, attempt to consume 2-3 cups of vegetables for each meal.
Rest – Listen to your body and take advantage of any opportunity for increased rest. Napping, sleeping in or going to bed early are all great ways to bank extra hours to support the vitality of season.
Tools for your Spirit
Winter Wisdom – Consolidating energy and building the yin reserves is what the world models for us this time of year. Spending time in nature routinely inspires us to listen to her subtle wisdom and reflect the inherent balance that she creates. The yin essence is quiet, private and internal.
Solo adventures or utilizing peaceful music to coordinate group energy can be very helpful. Creativity is always a worthy venture to dedicate time and energy toward. This time of year, forget about ambition of any grand project, and let your creativity arise anywhere it may appear. Whether it is in combining spices in the kitchen, re-arranging where things are put away in the home, the way you dress, or with a specific art medium… any creative outlet will do.
Try to be un-attached to the outcome and allow yourself the simple exploration of the moment.
Writing or journaling this season is a wonderful way to consolidate the yin. Reflect on your past, assimilate the experiences you have had, and allow yourself to fully embrace the forgiveness for what may have been imperfect in order to be free of the burden of shame and regret.
This season, follow the wisdom of nature to relax into the moment and allow yourself to simply be.