Guest Author - Lauren D´Silva
The Winter solstice marks the darkest point of the year. This is the time that many of us feel at a ‘low ebb’. Here I discuss ways to cosset yourself through Winter days.
Though humans aren’t hibernating mammals we definitely respond physically, emotionally & mentally to the change of seasons. Instead of fighting against the urge to slow down and retreat into our homes we can enjoy being in tune with Nature’s rhythms and go with our instincts as far as possible.
Modern life & electric lighting are responsible for most of us being forced out of our natural cycles. We are expected to work just as long and hard in the short cold days as in the warm lengthy days of Midsummer. Take a step back for a moment to see how artificial this situation is- our ancestors would be startled by our detachment from the seasons I feel.
Perhaps you can’t renegotiate shorter hours for winter days- I think this is unlikely for the majority of people as the current status quo reigns, however you can adapt the way you behave in your own time over the winter months.
Here’s my suggestions for making Winter a nurturing time to ‘Go within’ and recharge your batteries.
-Get earlier nights. Our ancestors would have worked until the light failed and then turned in and had a longer sleep in Winter time. Don’t be confused by ‘fake daylight’ of electronic lighting. Your body doesn’t get recharged by a light bulb in the same way as it does in sunshine so you need to compensate and sleep more.
- Eat comfort foods like nourishing soups & stews. The foods of the season are warming & heavy. They are good fuel for your body in cold weather. Salads just don’t ‘do it’ in cold weather. This is not the time of year to starve your body & diet despite what all the magazines may say come January 1st.
Lay a real hearth fire if possible- or if not go somewhere that has a real fire. There is something primeval and comforting about sitting around a crackling fire in cold weather. A glass of mulled wine is one of the joys of the season too!
- wear layered clothing. Lots of layers trap more air & keep you warmer than one thick jumper. Plus you can take layers off when indoors & adjust to the temperature of your surroundings. A crisp cold winter’s day is fun when you are well wrapped up!
- Which brings me on to going outside…the shorter days & colder weather make a walk outside less appetising, however with less natural daylight than the rest of the year it is even more important to get out and receive natural rays. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is primarily about a lack of light affecting the chemical balance of the brain.
Cut down on television & play board games or cards. Dark nights are a fantastic excuse to have family time & sitting around the tv just isn’t as nurturing. This is a time to gather together.
Soak in the bath by candlelight. Showers are great for convenience but baths have the edge for luxury.
Take time to go within and enjoy the quiet of midwinter. Whether you meditate, sit in quiet contemplation, or go on a solitary walk, take time out alone where you can ponder the year that is closing and prepare yourself for the New Year that is to come.
Enjoy the blessings of Mid Winter & welcome the quiet into your life. Peace be with you.