Transition to a healthy winter season
Each season asks something a little different of us. As we wrap up projects and prepare to exit the fall season, we can begin to tune out any extraneous noise and return our focus inward. Make space for simplicity and settle in for the cold months ahead. Winter is the perfect time for restoration of the body and mind. Without the tug of sunny days and warm weather pulling us outside, it becomes easier to engage in practices that help us slow down, conserve energy and enjoy the stillness around us.
When the weather turns cold we naturally gravitate towards warm nourishing foods. We love using warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove & ginger in our winter pies. Hot tea or cocoa keep our hands warm, and soup becomes a regular menu item. This is no accident. Our body knows what it needs to stay in balance. As the environment outside changes, we can listen to the signals from our body to adapt our lifestyle and remain healthy throughout the season.
One of the easiest ways to stay in balance is to adapt to the foods of the season. Enjoying more hardy root vegetables and winter squash will make your transition smoother. Add warming spices to your meals. Give cooling foods a break, and re-introduce them as the weather warms up. If you live in the Rogue Valley you can stay connected to local farms at the indoor winter market every Saturday at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. You might even join a winter CSA and have fresh produce delivered to your neighborhood!
Another simple practice to bring into your winter life is evening foot baths. Placing your feet in a container of warm water is SO easy and SO beneficial! If the only thing you do is put your feet in warm water while you watch TV, your feet (and therefore you) will be happier. The warm water will bring circulation to your feet and ankles and soothes muscular tension. Tension held in our feet directly translates to tension all the way up the body. The way our feet connect to the ground when we walk or stand can really make or break it for us. At this time of year, our feet tend to get a little neglected. We shove them into boots, they carry us around all day, and hardly ever get a second thought. Give your feet a little gratitude each night! If you want to take it a step further, add some herbs & Epsom salt in there. A 1/2 cup of Epsom salt will do. For chronically cold feet, add a little ginger root to your foot bath. If you are looking for something relaxing add catnip. For sore muscles try comfrey leaves!
Last but not least, winter is a great time to begin writing. If this isn't part of your life already, now just might be the easiest time to start (maybe while your feet are soaking in the tub?). Winter is the time I spend reflecting on the past year. It gives me a chance to think about what worked, what didn't, and what I want to bring into the next year. I find that all of this reflecting is much easier on paper. It gives me space to spill out all of my thoughts instead of just swirling them around in my head which can be a little overwhelming. Writing brings clarity to my vision and helps me to process what happened over the past year. It is a wonderful way to turn your attention inward and bring peace of mind.
If you don't know what to write, simply begin with 2 lines a day.
what you are grateful for.
what you are ready to let go of.