Did you know that Winter is the season of transformation?
I know, it sure doesn’t look or feel like much happens during the winter….the trees are bare and resting, snow is covering everything, many animals are hibernating….BUT it’s true that there is much movement that occurs in the winter; all in the hidden and unseen darkness.
In winter, it is common for people to say everything is “dead.”
On the contrary, those bare trees and shrubs are doing what we should all do. They are shifting their focus from their outer being to their inner being.
All of their energy is going back into the dark warmth of the deep soil where their roots can rejuvenate, renewing themselves for another season of productivity.
And so too, are you changing, growing and transforming on a spiritual level. You may not see it, but believe me, you are different now. You have already accomplished so many things and learned lessons that have shaped, molded, crushed and rebuilt your spirit.
Winter is a difficult time for many people. The cold, the dreary days of rain or snow, the lack of light, the colds and flu, being cooped up indoors — these are all things that can make winter a miserable time.
But what if you could look at it differently and really lean into embracing what winter has to offer us.
Winter is the time of Divine Rest, when we allow the inner Spirit to take the reins and lead us to higher awareness. It’s the time to let go, and Let God, so to speak.
Cultures that deal with long dark winters have a thing or two to teach us about embracing winter. The Danish word HYGGE (pronounced “hoo-ga”) has recently become a buzz word for all things cozy and comforting.
The word is hard to translate literally, but it speaks of coziness, contentment and well-being. A sense that life is good, and meant to be enjoyed.
Normally at this time we are actively writing down our New Year’s Resolutions and goals…..the usual “lose 10lbs, eat better, stop drinking alcohol or caffeine”…. (all very noble) and I have ALWAYS been super gung-ho on writing down ALL the things I planned to get accomplished for the year. And then the lesson of 2020 taught us that we cannot always force things to happen when WE want them to.
Yes, we need to have goals and inspiration for the things we want to achieve, but putting too much pressure to get them off the ground in the winter especially, goes against the natural rhythms of life.
At a time when we’re compelled to make new year’s resolutions and get moving on those goals, the season beckons us to consider very different ways of being. This is the time of stillness, silence, and patience.….AND HYGEE
I am conscious about living my life in accordance to the energy of the seasons (which is why I adore creating the “Embrace the Seasons Workshops).
Too many people try to live their lives in constant “high-outward-summer-energy-mode” which inevitably leads to burnout, irritability and illness.
I AM saying to 100% write out your goals for the New Year! It’s absolutely fine to set your goals and work towards them, BUT if we do at the exclusion of allowing ourselves proper rest this season, we lose the opportunity to renew our energy.
Here are some ways to bring HYGGE energy into your life over the winter months. Let’s welcome January with all the gifts winter offers and ENJOY this time.
Less light this time of year is hard on folks; especially when you suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Even if you don’t suffer from this, we all benefit from bringing more light into our space.Placing nice table lamps up high gives a room a sense of natural light.I like the cozy, warm ambiance that candles offer so place different ones around your home. Using battery operated ones is perfect; especially in areas where kids and pets hang around more. I am a HUGE fan of twinkle lights so I quite enjoy having them placed around the home.
I don’t necessary mean turning the thermostat up. You can create that warm cozy feeling you often see in magazines and in movies with items you likely already have around the house.
Placing a nice basket in the living room filled with those throw blankets exudes warmth.
Put some of your favourite mugs on a tray in the kitchen for easy access to remind you to make a hot drink. Maybe keep some hot cocoa packets on it too!
Add cinnamon to said hot drinks to make them extra special over winter. Besides the stimulation of your taste buds and olfactory senses, cinnamon is an anti-oxidant.
Keep your favourite cozy sweater close by on those extra chilly days.
Winter is the time for comfort food so break out those soup recipes! Spending time in the kitchen making a batch of soup is a wonderful way to nurture your body and soul.
Have a PJ day! Take the guilt away from giving yourself “me time” and choose a day to pad around in your pjs and fluffy slippers.
Have a soak in the tub before bed. You can find 20-30min in your schedule to shut the phone and tv off.
Bundle up on sunny days and go for a walk. A quick jaunt around the block will do wonders to boost your mood. Winter is about slower movements and resting but it’s not about being a sloth on the couch until spring 😉
Make a winter playlist and have it ready. Fill it up with songs that make you feel good and bring a sense of coziness and joy.
I LOVE putting my playlist on anytime I’m cooking. Or even just laying under my blanket with my mug of tea and writing in my journal.
RENEW YOGA OR MEDITATION PRACTICE
Winter is a great time for you to renew a nourishing practice like meditation or why not do some Yin yoga. This is a season of slow, flowing movement;not rushed or outward energy movements. It’s your time to reconnect with your body and your spirit.
Winter can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a drudge.
Winter can be filled with light, warmth, rest, and growth. It can be a special time of going within and caring for ourselves.
It can be a time of comfort, well-being and joy. Fold some of these ideas into your winter experience, and before you know it, the light of spring will return and you will be refreshed and ready.