Winter - The Season of Recharging and Rest
Humans are creatures of nature, attuned to its supporting energies. Like animals and trees, we too need winter's quiescence to recharge our batteries for all the exciting growth of the coming Spring. Winter is part of the circle of life - and a very necessary one.
However, do you ever see humans hibernating like the bears and the bees? In today's culture, winter is a bustling season full of parties, celebrations, and holidays. While all this holiday cheer is rejuvenating for one's soul, keep in mind that this activity goes against nature. Anything that goes against nature uses up more energy than we'd like to spare. Pushing ourselves to keep working and playing when we might be better off sleeping takes its toll. Our clinic is often at its busiest in December and January, as patients come in complaining of stress and exhaustion.
While we can't exactly take a three month long vacation to chill out at home, we can use our energy wisely so that we get at least some of the rest we're meant to have during this time. Budget your time and energy as if you're budgeting money. The COVID-19 pandemic has already made everyone slow down, stay at home, and attend less holiday festivities. The new variant has put even more of a stand-still to traveling and get-togethers, which actually has the silver lining of doing everyone's immune system a favor: by conserving your energy as much as you can and staying home, you can not only avoid exposure but also keep your immune system strong. Come Spring, your body will thank you heartily for it, with more energy, less aches and pains and health conditions.
A few more tips to help your body rest and heal during this time of hibernation:
1) Stay warm -- when in doubt, add that extra layer of long undies, especially if you get cold easily or find that your skin is cold to the touch after you shed your layers. Take a hot shower or bath at night, or take advantage of a sauna or steam room to get every last bit of cold out of your body. Keeping your body warm keeps your circulation of blood and energy strong, which prevents a whole host of conditions, such as arthritis, auto-immune issues, even women's health issues, such as infertility and cramps.
2) Drink plenty of hot ginger or chai tea. Not only does hot liquid keep your insides nice and toasty, but these delicious spices have been long revered for boosting your immune system and recharging your energy.
3) Sleep in when you feel tired, and go to bed early. Don't push yourself too hard to stay up late working or getting up too early to go to the gym. You're meant to get more sleep in the winter, and your body's metabolism will benefit as a result.
4) Practice meditation, Qigong, or yoga. These mindful energy practices not only help you slow down and relax, but also help you stay energized by building your Qi or prana, so that you don't use up too much of your reserve energy trying to get through the winter.