Winter is upon us! I know because I have to wrap up in the mornings and put gloves on to drive in at my usual insane hour of 4am. It’s cold!
In Chinese Medicine winter is a time to rest and reflect. It’s a time to go deep, let go of things that aren’t serving you and save your energy for those things that are important to you and that really light you up.
How is your self care going this winter? Where are you focusing your energy?
I’ve been channelling my energy into my writing, my next karate grading, and my business. I have had a few nights of getting to bed too late, but by and large my self care has been excellent this winter. I am eating well (warm, hearty meals that I have prepared myself), I’m exercising and stretching regularly, sleeping well and making sure I get plenty of rest and down time.
I have made a conscious effort not to give energy to things that don’t do me any good - for instance, dwelling on things I can’t change, sulking over things that don’t go my way, and getting caught up in other people’s drama.
As a result, I’m feeling really good! My energy levels are high and stable, my mood is stable, and I want to get up in the morning and get to work.
Let’s take a quick look at some easy things you can work into your routine to help you get through the winter.
While controlled exposure to cold is a good thing (cold showers are a fantastic way to start the day and have a bunch of positive effects on the body from increased immunity to better weight management and energy levels), being too cold too often can really zap your energy. Wrap up warm - remember a scarf and a hat, sip hot drinks, and eat warming foods where you can. This all helps keep your body running smoothly and helps keep your energy up during the colder months
It’s easy to get caught up in your to do list, but it’s crucial that we all make time to relax EVERY DAY. A short walk in the sun, a quiet cuppa, or a short lie down in the afternoon are all good ways of making this happen. If you feel you don’t have the time - get up ten minutes earlier and make the time
Nourish your Body
Warming, nourishing foods are best this time of year. Think soups and stews, bone broth, miso, and slow cooked or roasted foods. All of these help build your qi in the winter months, are easier for your body to digest, and keep you feeling deliciously warm
Exercise Appropriately: movement is essential, but for most of us winter is not the time to be thrashing our bodies. If you’re struggling with energy and motivation, try pulling back a little. Do a shorter workout, try something with less intensity, or give yoga, pilates, or walking a go and see how that feels
During the colder seasons you may need to get a bit more sleep than usual. If you’re feeling extra tired, or find yourself lagging a bit, increase your sleep. Get to bed earlier and rearrange your day to make this work - you’ll be more productive and you’ll feel better for it!
What do you do to look after yourself in the winter?