The natural cycle of life’s seasons is not dissimilar to the earth’s. Each season has its unique gifts, which we can all embrace, despite our differing daily experiences. While spring’s warmth, light, and feelings of renewal and new beginnings may be evocative, winter’s cool, dark, and quiet seasons allow us to slow down, embrace stillness, and heal. Angie Weiland Crosby brilliantly describes winter as “Winter knows how to hush and still, listen, so that the soul can talk.” Here are some winter wellness strategies to help you tap into the calmer, more peaceful season.
1. Daily Gratitude Practice
Every day, spend at least five minutes thinking about the things you are grateful for. If you like, write it down. Consider people you love, places you feel safe and any other things that bring you joy.
2. Mindful eating is possible
Winter is full of seasonal flavours and unique tastes. Focus on the experience next time you have a winter favourite like peppermint chocolates or root vegetable soup. Pay attention to the texture, smells, taste, mouthfeel, and texture you experience after eating or snacking.
3. Slow Movement
Winter weather can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities. However, it allows us to explore slower forms and movements that we can do indoors, such as Tai Chi, yoga, deep stretching, and Tai Chi.
4. Take Mindful Winter Walks
While mindful walks can be a good practice in any season, winter can provide a more tranquil and peaceful experience. When you’re out walking, take note of some wintery gifts like the crunch of snow or leaves with every step, the crispness in the air, and the natural world’s stillness.
5. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing can be a very peaceful practice, especially when paired with a relaxing ritual. Slowing down our breathing can send a signal to our brain that restores our senses of calm almost immediately.
6. Reflective journaling
Journaling and mindful self-reflection are great ways to regain and rebuild our relationships with ourselves in this quiet season. Get cosy with a blanket, a notebook, and a pen and reflect on the winter day. You might think of these journal prompts: * I feel grateful that …* Winter gives me the opportunity to …* It is something I am proud of…
7. Get in touch with old friends
Although hibernation can be tempting in winter, it is important to maintain a healthy social life. This is a great time to reconnect with someone you care about and have lost touch with. It can do wonders for your soul to send a quick message or call a friend you care about.
8. Create Cozy Rituals
Everyday Health estimates that nearly 20% of people experience seasonal mood swings. It can be very effective to create cosy rituals you look forward to each day to beat the winter blues. You could spend 30 minutes reading by the fireside with your loved ones, have morning coffee under a blanket, or watch a festive movie night.