Living Seasonally: Winter

A few weeks ago, I attended a Women’s temple in celebration of the Winter Solstice. While the gathering was full of beauty and wisdom there were a lot of intense emotions and feelings of overwhelm. These feelings seem to be much more prevalent in the winter months, especially around the holidays. The holiday season should be about gathering, giving back, and spending time with those you love, nevertheless those seemingly enjoyable things can also bring a lot of stress and negativity. I, however, believe the overwhelm is more than just the busy holiday season or the winter blues, it is our souls trying to tell us something.

Most of us have heard of eating seasonally and its benefits- it’s more cost-effective, nutritious, and better for the environment, but have we ever thought about living seasonally?

Living seasonally is all about embracing each season and living in tune with mother nature.

What are the characteristics of winter?  The days are shorter, animals have gathered their food for winter and are hibernating. The trees have dropped their leaves to conserve energy. Winter in its natural state is all about rest and conservation. A time to slow down, unwind, and reset. As humans, we are a part of nature but very few of us are living the way nature intended.

Once the New Year hits we go from being busy shopping and preparing, to exerting our energy trying to resolve all our deemed “flaws” with New Year’s goals and resolutions. Where was the time for reflection and self-care? This kind of work cannot be done in the week between Christmas and the New Year. If you’re really serious about wanting to see a change you have to take time and do the work. 365 days is a lot to process, so much has happened that we often forgot about. Lessons were learned, mistakes were made, heartache was felt, there were success and loss, and the list goes on.

Clear out the mental clutter and dust the cobwebs off your soul. Take the time for reflecting and releasing rather than resolving. These processes will naturally bring to light what areas we want to focus on and how we want to feel. This type of work is proven more effective than resolving to make often superficial and unrealistic changes to our lives and ourselves.

Stop. Hit the brakes. Take a cue from mother nature and use the season to take care of your mind, body, and spirit.

Figure out what brings you joy and do more of that, do less of or modify the things that bring on stress, negativity, and fatigue. Take advantage of the colder weather and shorter days and retreat to a place of comfort and just sit there for a while. It’s ok to slow down. In fact, it’s vital for our future well-being.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

Henry David Thoreau

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