In winter the daylight hours are much shorter than in summer. Consequently there is less energy for us to absorb into our bodies. So we naturally feel lower on energy at this time of year. Instead of pushing ourselves to do more and more, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and illness, we can instead tune into our bodies, and give them the much needed rest and recuperation that is needed at this time of year.
What might self care look like to you? Perhaps a warm bath with candles and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Or snuggling up with a book by the fire. Maybe you could meet up with a dear friend, and having a good talk or treat yourself to a massage. To satisfy your creative energy you can sew, knit, draw, doodle, paint, cook, play an instrument, sing or dance. It can also be beneficial to regularly wrap up warmly and get out for a walk in the daylight, making the most of the benefits that come from the natural light and fresh air.
Using a journal to write and reflect about your feelings, and what triggers you helps you to become more self aware, and let go of thoughts that keep on swirling in your mind. You can also write down all that has worked for you this year, and all that you would like to let go of. Then you can take the time to reflect on what you would like to come into your life for the new year, and write down steps that you can take to make these things happen. This is a great preparation for the coming new year. You can even burn what you would like to let go of as a symbolic representation. Doing this brings clarity into our lives, and is a great way to allow ourselves to flourish once spring arrives.
Having warming, grounding, slow cooked food with root vegetables can be particularly beneficial at this time of year, such as soups or stew. Add warming herbs and spices such as garlic, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper.
Just bringing some of these things more mindfully into our lives at this time of year can help us avoid the temptation to over eat, drink or spend due to the stress of doing too much, when our bodies naturally crave to be slowing down, and our minds need to reflect on the year gone by. When we allow ourselves more rest in winter, just like the earth that is lying mostly dormant, then we are ready for when spring arrives, to bloom with creative energy.
Restorative types of yoga, are best suited for the winter season, as they safeguard your energy reserves. With this in mind our yoga classes in January will have more of a slower, restorative theme. If you haven’t already signed up then follow this link for more information https://anahatayoga.uk/yoga-classes/ Classes start again week commencing 7th January. I look forward to seeing you. I will be on retreat for a week from tomorrow so may not be able to pick up any messages until after then.
Best wishes for the New Year.