Winter, it's not a season I've had much experience with until this year. Last summer we moved from Texas to Colorado, and before Texas I lived in Southern California. Because of my lack of "winter experience", I decided to wait to publish this post. I wanted to experience temperatures in the single digits as well as a couple of snow storms.
Winter is not what I expected it to be. It's beautiful, serene, and by far the most peaceful of seasons. I do miss warm air and blooming landscapes, but I love the stillness that winter brings.
Winter is the season for rest. If we look to nature and observe, it's still, it rests. The plants go dormant, waiting for spring, the fuzzy creatures find a warm place to bed down and wait. What do humans do? Well, we become consumed with goals and plans not even two weeks after the winter solstice. On the dawn of a new year we're busily setting goals and suddenly trying to take on more. You wonder why we all get sick during this time of year. It's simple, we're not taking our biological time to rest. We're not staying in, bedding down, pausing for a time. The weather and shorter days are supposed to keep us in. It's necessary, a requirement we tend to dismiss.
What if we delayed our resolutions to be more resolute about rest? Maybe by spring we'd be slightly more prepared.
Cultivating Space for Rest - Winter Hygge
(From the perspective of a stay at home mom, but can certainly be applied to all lifestyles.)
1. Be still
Nap all that you can, especially on the weekends.
2. Read, Sew, Paint, Embroider, Write, Bake, Cook
On the warmer days head to the library and check out those gardening books to begin jotting down your spring planting ideas, or how about that novel you've been wanting to read for the past ten years?
Make healthy habits in the kitchen: bone broths, nourishing teas, hearty soups and stews, homemade bread, fermented foods and kombucha.
Take walks on the warmer days - we all need the fresh air. Less focus on the weight loss resolutions, more focus on the joy movement and crisp air bring to your heart and spirit. And if you're snowed-in, dance!
Clean up your spaces, little by little (one room/drawer/cabinet each week). When our homes are more organized we're more likely to find rest and enjoy life in general. Just think, with an organized kitchen, you'll definitely use that Instant Pot!
Share meals at the table by candlelight - especially on those dreary days. Winter can be tough for many of us; the darker/shorter days can wear one down. This is the time to connect with those we often take for granted during the busier seasons of life (spouses, children, best friends). Make it a priority to connect at home, it makes a home cozier when hearts are warmer.
Find beauty in the dead winter landscape, find beauty in the warmth you feel holding a cup of coffee while it's frozen outside, find beauty in the gray skies, the way it illuminates the lamplight on a Sunday afternoon. If we're able to share gratitude during the bleak winter, we're definitely going to be full of cheer come spring.