Last week I shared with you the importance of giving your beautiful adrenal glands extra support through the winter months in order to support immunity, vitality & hormone balance. If you missed that article you can find it here.
This week I want to share with you several more critical ways you can support your body, mind and spirit as we enter mid-winter this week in the Northern Hemisphere.
For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere most of these tips are actually GREAT for you to follow as well – both Summer & Winter Solstice is a time to slow down and reflect for the coming season.
Here we go ~ the top six ways that I get myself through the winter feeling deeply nourished & ready for a new year:
- REST: The first one is to REST MORE. In mid-winter it is ideal to be sleeping 10 hours per night from 9pm -7am. Of course we may not always be able to but we can at least set the intention and try to allow ourselves the space to nap more if we aren’t getting 10 hours sleep at night. Personally I’ve been enjoying about a 30 minute nap just after sunset most days which leaves me feeling more rejuvenated through dinner and opens up a bit of creative time and energy for me in the later evening.
2. DREAMING: Winter is also an excellent time to focus on DREAMING more deeply. The best way to enhance our dreams is to pay attention to them. Start a Dream Journal and keep it beside your bed and spend 5-10 minutes writing down any dreams first thing when you wake up. If you don’t remember the actual dreams you can write down any feelings or any thoughts you wake up with. I also recommend writing down dreams if you wake up in the night. Because winter is all about the element of WATER (which also relates to the realm of emotions and the adrenal/kidney of course) dreams can be especially powerful at this time – also because in theory we are sleeping more and our metabolism slows down a bit which actually means we are capable of dreaming DEEPER.
3. DETOX THROUGH DEEP NOURISHMENT ~ and more REST: The dorsal vagus nerve has slightly more tone in the winter (when animals are hibernating the dorsal vagus nerve has very high tone) so this means not only do we dream more deeply, but our bodies go into a deeper state of rest than usual and are therefore able to cleanse, detox & renew on a very deep level – body, mind and SOUL.
This is different than the kind of detox we do in the springtime through fasting and cleansing foods ~ winter detox is all about DEEP NOURISHMENT. When we are in a deep state of rest our body naturally lets go of more toxins – actually we NEED to be in a state of deep rest in order for our body to cleanse properly, which is part of the reason why many people who live in a state of chronic stress end up with diseases from toxic overload like cancer, chronic fatigue etc. The kind of cleansing that happens naturally during winter rest is best supported NOT by things like fasting but by DEEP NOURISHMENT ~ loading our body with nutrient dense foods which then naturally push out toxins. Healthy fats are especially important in the winter. My body is particularly drawn to more (grass-fed) animal fats, fish and liver in the winter as well as root veggies and things like cabbage especially fermented saurkraute which is full of happy probiotics, but be sure to follow your own body wisdom to determine exactly which foods suit you best at any given time!
4. MOVEMENT: We also want to be sure to balance deep rest with light exercise as there is a danger of our energy getting to sluggish/stagnant. A brisk 20 minute walk outside first thing in the morning will do wonders to balance hormones. Natural daylight plus brisk movement first thing in the morning stimulates your pituitary gland and let’s your whole endocrine system know that it’s time to wake up and starts you on the right foot for your day.
5. CONNECT: One last piece I want to leave you with for today is that while it is important to connect with family and friends in the energy of gathering and celebrating over the holidays, the Solstice (both summer AND winter actually) is a critical time to also take some inward reflection time just for yourself.
6. REFLECT: Personally I find it totally critical to just be in my own energy for part of each day so that I can let my mind unwind and get quiet. This might be just sitting for a few minutes first thing in the morning and before bed, or it might be going for a short walk.
I love getting outside – especially in the snow – and seeing what animal tracks are in my yard and throughout the neighbourhood and listening to the birds.
Even if it is only 10 minutes in the morning or evening please be sure to take some time just for yourself over the holidays, allow yourself to get quiet and NOTICE what is happening within you. What do you need? Give yourself some space to reflect on the moment, and also to reflect on the past year. This is a powerful time to go inward and really look at what is working and what is not working in our lives and start to set intentions for the coming year.
When we don’t give ourselves the space to reflect, set intention and plan ahead it can be easy to get stuck in stress and overwhelm, (which benefits no one), so give yourself the gift of just a few minutes each day over the holidays to reflect upon what you have to be grateful for and also what needs to change or shift in some way.
I’d love to hear from you so please comment below and tell me 3 things you are grateful for and 1 thing you want to change this coming year.
In love & light,
Josea Tamira Crossley