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By Katie Jenson-Hull / The Radiant Nutritionist
Winter is a time for rest, to go with nature rather than against…
Let your resolutions wait.
There is nothing more overwhelming than all the diet culture messages about making new resolutions, weight loss and detox diets at this time of the year. There are often so many mixed messages around new year on social media that you don’t know where to turn. Society often dictates a new year transformation vibe. There is absolutely no reason why you should transform yourself into some more fantastic version of yourself with the turn of a new year. Yet this is what we are often bombarded with and led to believe.
I would argue that the winter months are not the time to embark on any transformation. Why would you want to deprive, restrict and push yourself in some of the hardest months of the year? Why would you want to force yourself to be the perfect version of yourself in the darkest, coldest months? I would argue that winter is a time for nourishment and rest more than any other time. To go with your instincts rather than against. Rest and slow down. Just as nature is doing outside of your window.
Let mother nature guide you. Why push to be EVERYTHING, when nature isn’t rushing to bloom. Nature is quietly in a resting period, dormant, listening and getting ready to grow and bloom. To be vibrant and glow with vitality once the time is right and spring is here.
Seasonal living provides a template to be guided by the seasons, going with rather than against. In the case of winter, slow wins the race. Winter may be the season of retreat however it isn’t just a waiting period until spring. If you use the time wisely and rest, plan and prepare for spring you will have more chance of hitting the ground running with your intentions for the year. Focus on activities and rituals that promote self love and pamper yourself inside and out. It’s not often we are given a pass to slow down. Winter is that pass.
Winter is a time for internal work. A time for journaling and reflection while you are waiting for spring. Reflect on the year that has just passed. What did you achieve? What brought you joy? How can you learn from certain experiences? What plans do you want to do this year? What intentions do you want for the year ahead? Winter is also a time for reading and learning and other nourishing activities such as cleaning and decluttering. Getting your space and environment cozy for drinking more tea and lighting candles. Winter is a time to increase the feeling of safety and comfort.
Winter is a time to nourish our kidneys and adrenal glands according to Eastern medicine. Many of us suffer from exhaustion and fatigue at this time of the year. Keeping going rather than listening to your body causes further stress and often a lack of sleep.
If you treat winter right and go with it rather than against it. You can emerge more radiant than when you entered. More nourished. You can emerge full of enthusiasm for what’s to come.
Winter is the time to eat nourishing wholefoods that support the immune system and provide much needed vitamins and minerals for energy and vitality. Cutting down on refined processed foods and instead fulling on wholesome wholefoods. It is time for deep rest and sleep. It’s vital to take restorative moments, create routines that aid these moments. Like creating an evening routine which is conducive for deep sleep. Keeping hydrated with warming teas. Winter is a time to make choices that are kind and establish daily rituals and routines that reflect those choices.
If we all slowed down for a minute we could take a lesson from mother nature. Nature doesn’t rush to bloom. It stores away all its energies for spring. Nature takes time to rest and reemerges blooming. We simply don’t need to be doing more. We need to do less. Allow the body to slow and for our sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system to switch into our rest and digest.
I’m not advocating hibernation, far from it. We need our daily movement outside to boost our mind and for physical health. Use these outings as a way of finding the beauty in winter. It’s there, we just need to look a little harder. From the frost covered leaves, to the ice patterns on car windows. Take in these simple joys while you wait eagerly for the signs of life. The signs of growth. That spring has arrived.
When spring arrives, then is the time that the body wants to naturally increase it’s vibrancy and with new refined energy you can go and make the things you reflected on and dreamt about in winter a reality.
Don’t push yourself hard to be the best version of yourself. That will come.