Let’s face it, most people get a little bit sad as winter sets in. We associate winter with cold, dark, rain and sickness and most people will begin to fear the onset weeks before it actually arrives.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Read on to learn how to get the most out of winter - you might even find it becomes your favourite season!
Consider your cultural conditioning. Research came out last year that surprised many of the winter naysayers. In Norway, a very cold and dark place in winter, "people view winter as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured," according to researcher Kari Leibowitz. This difference in attitude means that despite extremely long and dark nights, people suffer less depression and actually look forward to the season. The reasons they enjoy this time appear to be connecting more with community (less Netflix more festivals and activities) and focussing on things they enjoy like sitting in front of open fires, lighting candles, snuggly blankets and warm beverages. If all else fails, at least winter fashion is a fallback. As they say in Norway - "There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." You can read more here
Yoga & meditation
Of course I would say this but there is no better way I know to stave off stress and general malaise in any season. Yin yoga can help keep immunity and resilience up and a strong physical yoga practice will compliment this to keep you fit throughout the season. You could even try hot yoga to get that daily sweat action happening. Meditation is just as important - keeping fit mentally as well as physically.
Nuff said, especially if using public transport.
Similarly, it’s proven that keeping warm, especially your chest, helps stave off those winter bugs.
Rest before you need to
In our culture, we applaud productivity, getting shit done, achieving and extroversion. These are all great, but they’re only one aspect of a complex picture. Humans, and especially women, are cyclical beings. Cycles of exertion and recovery are inevitable, and we can get the most out of each aspect by fully embracing it. A way of thinking about this is a dafoldil bulb underground in winter. From the surface, it appears there’s nothing happening, but all the while the preparation is in place so that the bulb can burst forth in spring in full flowering glory. Bulbs cannot flower when there’s not a proper winter. By embracing the natural tendencies in winter to rest more, eat more warming, nourishing foods and reflect more, we can also use this time to grow beneath the surface. By being conscious about our need for rest we can avoid getting sick, for example, when you’re feeling under the pump, resist the urge to push through and take a day off (I know this is a CRAZY idea, but try it, practice makes perfect and you’ll avoid needing weeks off with flu later on).
I would love to hear your favourite aspects of the winter season. Let me know via the comments box below!