Winter has taken hold here in Utah. The searing cold (and often grey) days may create or mirror an inner state of malaise in our psyche.
A Challenge of Sorts
Instead of fighting our urge to slow down, to sleep a bit more, to watch that Netflix series, to play games, to cocoon–I offer an invitation to truly BE with the season–to utilize the beckoning of winter to turn inward. The snow and cold can literally drive us inside at times in order to feel safe, warm, and protected. Instead of constructing our lives to feel the same throughout the year, what if we allowed ourselves to simply slow down for a couple of months? What if we provided ourselves a moment to reflect on our lives, our experiences, and our relationships in order to mourn, process, and grow?
If we are open to nature’s invitation to slow down, winter affords many options with regard to experiencing the comfort of the season. I have compiled a list of some of my favorites. They are simple and accessible.
- Enjoy hot drinks throughout the day.
- Get outside for a long winter walk or hike or snowshoe or ski (invest in quality gear so that you can do this comfortably).
- Watch Netflix shows that light you up and allow you to gather (we are currently watching Sherlock).
- Create. Knit. Cook. Journal. Paint. Declutter or rethink a space. It doesn’t matter so much what you choose to make–but allow yourself some space to be creative.
- Sleep more. Are you tired earlier in the day? Do you want to sleep in a bit later? Allow for some softness in your schedule to allow for the rest you seek.
- Gather with loved ones. Play games. Eat. Watch tv shows or movies. Talk. Share.
- Consider therapy or coaching for support as you process or make changes in your life.
- Use that fireplace!
- Allow for tactile comforts. Baths. Soft socks and robes. Cozy blankets to grab. Heating pads.
- Read more. My mind tends to enjoy a good mystery this time of year. I always seem to have a nonfiction and fiction book going.
- Try an inner work practice like yoga or meditation.
- Light candles when you wake up and as the sun sets each evening. The warmth and glow of the candles can be soothing.
- Consider adding a pleasure like a monthly massage as a way to warm up winter. A nice Swedish massage is a beautiful way to release tension in the body that builds as we are continually bracing for the cold.
- Create an evening routine that suits you for this time of year. While you are at it, reconsider your morning routine as well! Scale them back or add in some comfort!
- Add face masks, hair treatments, and moisturizing skin creams to your days. These pampering practices slow you down and offset the drying nature of colder temperatures.
This time of year can be challenging for everyone. I hear that. And it is real. May you grant yourself permission to set the striving part of you aside for a minute and allow yourself some space to slow down and just be present. Warm up your life with practices that allow you to feel comfort, connection, and true health.