What We Can Learn From the Winter Solstice

 

Yesterday I went for a walk in the woods. With the exception of some extremely busy squirrels, all was quiet and calm. The trees have let go of all of their leaves, many of the birds have migrated, and the flowers have all withered away. Nature has been preparing for winter. The season of deep rest and darkness.

 

Today is the Winter Solstice. The shortest, darkest day of the year and the official start of winter. It’s a time of quiet reflection and a reminder of the importance of rest.

 

Nature has so much wisdom to share with us. During the winter, nature reminds us to slow down, let go of what we no longer need, and take time to rest and renew.

 

The lessons winter shares with us are often in opposition with our culture’s obsession with busyness. Of the three most important self care habits (eating well, movement and sleep), sleep is the most often overlooked.

 

We value work over rest and rarely take time to slow down. People often blow sleep off. They say things like “I can rest when I retire…or when I die.”

 

Electronics, busy minds, and hormone changes often make it harder to get the sleep we need even when we are trying.

 

During the winter we are naturally more tired. It’s the perfect time to focus on ways to get more rest.

 

I know it can be super challenging to do during this super busy holiday season. Be kind to yourself and remember that little moments of quiet and rest can have a profound effect on your energy and well-being.

 

 

Along with prioritizing sleep, try any of the following for a mini-rest:

* Take a bubble bath.

* Drink herbal tea by candlelight. My favorite brand is “Yogi” tea because I love the inspirational quotes on the tea bags.

* Journal. Get your thoughts out of your head and onto the page. Doing a brain dump of your thoughts and ideas helps clear your mind and make it easier to rest. Journaling by candlelight is one of my favorite self-care habits.

* Close your eyes place and on your heart and take a few slow, deep breaths. This simple practice can be done throughout the day. It’s a beautiful way to slow down and connect with yourself.

* Read a fun book.

* Take a power nap. Twenty minutes of closing your eyes whether you fall asleep or not has the power to make you feel refreshed.

* Turn your electronics off an hour before bed. I know this can be a huge challenge for so many of us. Be patient with yourself and take baby steps if necessary. If you use your phone as an alarm, keep it on the other side of the room and put it in airplane mode so you won’t be tempted to check your emails or social media.

 

 

Now it’s your turn:

Ask yourself: What’s one thing I can do to make sleep and rest a priority this season?

What’s one thing that’s getting in the way of my sleep/rest that I can cut back on?

 

Just like nature needs to rest before she can bloom, so do we.

 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and restful holiday season!

 

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