Finding Balance in Winter – By: Allie Barone
- Thursday, January 18, 2018
- Posted by Krisanne Butler in Lifestyle
The idea of balance is one that many of us try desperately to obtain in our lives. We want so badly for everything in our lives to align and for us to achieve that idea of harmony. Sadly, most of us live a significantly unbalanced life and we do not know how to correct it. When we are truly balanced we feel better emotionally, are free of disease and ailments, and can have the energy to create the lives of our dreams. Balance is more than just feeling on top of your workload, while also spending quality time with family. It exists in all aspects of our lives. To create the true harmonious feeling we all desire, we must consider the following concepts.
While one of the most important concepts of nutrition and health, we no longer live in a society that promotes eating seasonally and locally. Our grocery stores are flooded with out-of-season produce available to us any time of the year. While it is wonderful to live in a world full of so many options, this style of eating does create disharmony in the body.
Ways to embrace seasonal eating in the winter:
- Learn to love the local foods that are available to you in the winter. Become part of a Winter CSA.
- Cook with squash, root vegetables, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and winter greens. These foods thrive in the winter, and help to ground us while providing nourishing, and filling energy sources for the cold weather.
- Eat plenty of warm, slow-cooked foods like soups and stews. These foods are exactly what our body’s need, and are delicious. Spend some time making big batches of your soups to freeze so you can always have a meal ready.
- Use more warming spices in your cooking and baking. Spices such as nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon help to rebalance us from the harsh environment.
- Begin the day with a cup of your favorite tea, or coffee. You may add any of the mentioned warming spices to your beverage for even more of an effect.
- Make meal time a time to relax, and slow down. Let yourself taste, enjoy, and properly digest the nutrients you need for energy at this time.
The winter hibernation is an ideal time to recharge and accumulate our energy. Make restorative practices a part of your daily routine. It is powerful to take time to reflect during this period. The winter forces us in some ways to be more internal, and if we are allowing of this shift in energy we can create and grow from this space. Slow things down in the winter, as it is not about rushing. We did enough of that in the fall.
Ways to embrace restorative practices in the winter:
- Include slower methods of exercise such a yoga, stretching, and martial arts into your daily routine. This gives the body more yin energy, and time to restore itself.
- Pamper yourself in a luxurious bath, if you have a tub accessible. Let yourself soak in salts, essential oils, and hot water.
- Treat yourself to a daily self-massage with nourishing oils. Self-massage will help improve your circulation, stimulate lymphatic movement, and keep your skin from drying out. You can even trade this act of love with your significant other, and give each other massages.
- Make time for meditation every day. Everyone has their own way of meditating, and they are all valuable. Search for guided meditations on YouTube, join a meditation class or group, try active meditation, or use your own inner guidance to access your powers of meditation.
- Allow yourself to sleep a little longer in the winter. This may mean getting to bed earlier, or waking up a little later. More sleep equates to more healing.
Enhance your Environment
While outdoors may be frigid, you can create a warm, balancing environment inside your own home. There are many ways to do this depending on space and resources. You can make investments to enhance your living environment, or utilize things you may already have to actualize balance into your home.
Ways to embrace your environment in the winter:
- Pleasure your senses with texture. Now is the time to reintroduce your flannel, wool, fur (faux is great!), linen, velvet, and velour fabrics into your home. Add these fabrics into your décor with warming rugs, throw blankets, pillows, and clothing. Make your bed the coziest it can be for those long, cold winter nights.
- Air quality is very important for our health and balance. Filter the air in your home to remove toxins. Add house plants the help to clean the air, and make sure they get plenty of care. Now may also be the time for a humidifier to remove the incredible dryness from the air.
- Use an essential oil diffuser to add more moisture to the air, and dispense your favorite oils into it. In the winter, add eucalyptus, peppermint, and oregano oil to your air.
- Learn about the Scandinavian concept of Hygge. Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is the idea of enhancing coziness and pleasure in your atmosphere. The people from which we borrow this term are considered some of the happiest people on Earth, despite their frigid temperatures. You can find books, videos, and articles about Hygge that will help you develop your own sense of satisfaction during this season.
- If you have a fireplace be sure to keep it roaring on the coldest nights. Natural candles can also have the same effect. You can also place pleasant-smelling items such as cinnamon sticks, citrus peels, pieces of douglas fir wood, and cloves on a baking tray and put them in the oven to make the house smell wonderful!
If you can begin to incorporate some of these concepts into your repertoire, you can begin to rebalance all the other areas of your life. You will feel more energized, restored, and in harmony with your surroundings. Don’t forget to enjoy the season for what it is, and know that it will come and go with time and we have the opportunity now to totally embrace it. Do not be afraid to get outside, even in the cold weather. There are plenty of outdoor activities that are wonderful to participate in in the winter. Whether you like to ski, snowshoe, hike, ice skate, or even just shovel the driveway there are plenty of ways to enjoy the cold. Do some research on the subject according to different cultures such as Chinese Medicine, Indian Aruveyda, and Scandanavian Hygge. Some of their concepts and ideas may resonate strongly with you and give you a new perspective.
Let us know how you embrace and balance yourself in the winter season in the comments below!