Winter is the season of going inward. Of short days and long nights. It's a time when comfort and warmth are necessary elements of self-care. Here are some tips for keeping yourself healthy, both physically and emotionally:
1. Bring the Heat: whether it's fires in the fireplace, more candles lit, warm baths, going to the sauna, drinking warm beverages, or cooking with warmer/spicier ingredients- follow your body's wisdom when it comes to telling you what you can do to nurture the warmth during the cold season. Think about it, in the winter when you're outside in the cold rain, do you imagine getting home to have a cucumber and green juice? Probably not. If we eat according to food energetics, we probably either crave warm or dense foods like bone broth, soup, chili, meat and roasted veggies, and such. When it comes to herbs, there are plenty of herbs that are aromatic and delicious, while increasing circulation and warmth through our body. Herbs like rosemary, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, fennel, all do this. Bonus: they are also "carminative' herbs, which means they help with digestion, to reduce gas/bloating. So, win win!
2. Mind your Body: it's easy to become a little more physically stagnant during the winter months because there's more of a lethargic energy surrounding daylight and the liveliness of the natural world, but keep moving. Bundle up and get some fresh air. Sweat it out.
3. But Also, Embrace Rest: winter is definitely a time for being more introspective. It's ok not to feel as social, and extend yourself as much as you would do in the lighter months. Just as we see the animals getting quieter and going into hibernation, our spirits crave that slower living during this time, as well! I like using the winter to be reflective, dreaming deeply about new ideas I have, and how to organize aspects of my life better.
4. Writing Ritual: this is a great season to get into the rhythm of daily journaling. I released an Elemental Notebook that comes in The Ritual Box, but it's a nicely illustrated blank notebook that you can use for either morning pages and/or evening gratitudes. I have found that during times in my life when I commit to daily writing, I amplify things to be grateful for in my life and I go through my days with more clarity. This is probably because less is gathering and getting stuffed up in my subconscious brain. Morning pages involves writing out remnants of your dreams as soon as you wake up, or just free writing anything at all as soon as you wake up. Evening gratitudes, is taking a few minutes before bed to recall everything you can from your day that makes you grateful.
5. Keep The Flame Alive: this goes along with bringing the heat, but I want to speak directly to the ritual of keeping candles lit in your space. I created The Ritual Candle because I realized how much comfort waking up in the morning and lighting a candle while it's still dark out, brings me. There's something about keeping flames ablaze during shorter, colder days that makes winter extra cozy. Maybe light a candle before making whatever beverage you like in the morning. Light candles for bath times, for love times, and for writing times. This also might help offset some of the Seasonal Sadness stuff that comes up when days are darker for longer.
6. Uplift: Seasonal Sadness Disorder is a real thing! I've tried happy lights, but really adding any light/candles to your routine will help somewhat. Definitely in the Pacific Northwest, but in most places, I recommend taking proper doses of Vitamin D all season long (and even all year long) to keep your reserves alright. Some herbs I recommend incorporating for mood lifting are: St. John's Wort, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Mimosa.
7. Immune it Up! obviously, germs spread around like whoa during the winter. To keep yourself healthy, keep herbs like echinacea, ginger and turmeric in your diet. Add them to your soups, teas, etc. I recommend taking Fire Elixir daily, and using an oil like Protector in your wrists/ear lobes/feet to ward of germs via (pleasant!) aromatherapy power. If you do start noticing the dreaded tickle in your throat, get on a hefty dose of Osha Syrup asap. My Wellness Tincture, or any other one you can find in your local market is a good idea, as well!