Yesterday marked the shortest day of the year and now we enter into the quiet, cool and calm of winter…
For many the dread of the coming months loom, promising of biting cold and wind, grey skies, darkness and depression. The dark season demands we slow down and rest, and yet we find ourselves fighting it tooth and nail: rushing here and there, sleeping little, working too much, neglecting our health, ignoring our needs.
Our society consistently requires we fight our animal instinct, our nature, which I find to be especially destructive to the self during this dark time of year. Just as the natural world around us instinctively slows down, so should we be nourishing our human animal spirits in the winter months.
This lesson was one that took me many years to learn and I find still trying to navigate. It is challenging to slow down when it feels that all of civilization is rushing by and pushing you along with it. But in the recent years I have come to learn that self-care is a must and particularly so during these winter months.
Self-care this time of year is how I keep from getting swept up and eventually drowning in my own depression. It means an end to the incessant spinning with little accomplished. It means an excuse to stay in bed, to rest. It means self-care rituals: oil-pulling, dry brushing, bone broth, saunas and spa pedicures. I have come to look forward to this time of year as an excuse to slow down and allow my creative self to flow. I hope, as the days grow longer, you may find this solace as well. Happy winter!
Here are some self-care rituals that I hope will bring you warmth in the coming months:
- Do the ayurvedic practice of dry brushing and sesame oil massage, also known as: garshana/abhyanga, daily prior to showering.
- Try out oil pulling. It is traditionally done with sesame oil, I prefer the taste of coconut oil.
- Go to bed early and skip the alarm clock.
- Drink bone broth, daily.