Have you noticed nature’s cues that the season has changed? Is there snow on the ground? Have the trees lost their leaves? Are the days shorter? Is the weather cooler?
Have you noticed your own internal cues that the season has changed? Are you a little more tired? Longing for some alone time? Craving sweets and carbohydrates?
Winter is the time of year when things appear to die but, in reality, they are not dead, they are doing deep inner work. The leaves may have fallen off the trees, but the roots are quietly preparing for the next season of growth. This is our natural rhythm too. The more in sync with nature that you can be, the easier your life flows and the healthier you are, both physically and emotionally. When you go against the natural rhythm of things, you experience stress in your body and in your life.
Unfortunately our societal norms ask the exact opposite of us. Instead of resting, and truly feeling connected, you are rushing around, shopping, crossing things off your lists and doing rather than being. It can leave you feeling down, depleted, and literally sick and tired.
The good news? There ARE things that you can do to get back in sync.
- Supplement with Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is naturally produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you live in the north, or if you tend to have low levels, you will want to supplement. Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with depression and many other health concerns.
- Bring a little Joy into your life. One of my favorite essential oils is a blend called Joy, made by Young Living Essential Oil Company. I find it particularly useful this time of year. I rub a drop over my heart each morning.
- Eat more fat. I know it sounds counter intuitive. You are struggling with those 5 extra pounds from Thanksgiving and I am suggesting that you eat more fat. But yes, fats are important for healthy brain function and your overall health and well-being. They will also help you absorb essential vitamins and nutrients and keep you feeling satisfied. A variety of fats are beneficial, including (but not limited to) avocado, coconut oil, fatty fish, grass fed meats and butter from pastured cows. Knowing how much is the right amount is key for optimal health and, unfortunately, there is no magic number. When I work with clients I teach them cues to look for in their body that indicate how much fat is enough.
- Learn the power behind the word, “no.” Sometimes, in order to say “yes” to what you need, you have to say “no” to what someone else needs. For those of us that love to please others, this can be challenging. It is also incredibly important for your overall health and well being.
- Eat foods that support proper kidney function. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is associated with kidneys and bladder. This is the time of year to pay extra attention to the optimal function of these organs. Eating foods that support your kidney and bladder will help you feel more in sync. For ideas on how to support your kidneys, click this link.
To be 100% honest, this is the first fall/winter that I have not found myself a little down. Despite a difficult autumn and several tragedies that hit close to home, I am feeling grounded, centered and hopeful. For me, that is a BIG DEAL. I suspect that it is very closely connected to the fact that I have been using these tools to support myself (practicing what I preach I hope you will find them helpful this season as well.