The red and gold leaves are falling and the wind has changed. Darkness is upon us, and as winter approaches we begin the transition towards stillness. Seasonal change mirrors that of life and can be exciting and beautiful if we embrace it and allow this time to energize us. Transition or change gives us the opportunity to measure progress and helps us notice how we are growing and improving our lives. Following are a few of my tips to help you transition towards stillness.
Create cozy places in your home where you can journal, read a good book, snuggle with a blanket, or sip tea. Starting upstairs in our bedroom I add an extra blanket or throw to the foot of the bed. We keep our home cool at night and when the temperatures drop rather than turning up the heat we add an extra blanket. On my bedside table I like to have a live flower, candle, favorite book, and something personal to create a feeling of calm. Voluspa candles aren’t too pricey, they are clean burning (using only coconut wax) and as an added bonus the packaging is pretty. I felt the Rose mini candle upstairs would be an uplifting and pretty for our bedroom and I purchased a wintery fragrance for the downstairs. My Saje diffuser gives my space a refreshing feeling as if I’m standing near a waterfall. The air around us is revitalized with 100% plant-based essential oils that increase clarity and create a general sense of well-being. Downstairs we cozy up by adding extra pillows and warm throws to sitting areas. Place your favorite books and magazines near the throws and set out a candle to encourage quiet peace.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common here in the Pacific Northwest. We are far enough north that during the months of November and December we have about 8 hours of daylight. I remember my kids leaving for school at 7 am in the dark and when they got back, between 3:30 or 4 we were already beginning to loose daylight. Couple that with the gray days, occasional snow flurries and icy roads, many find it a challenge to get through the winter months. In my home you will notice candles in almost every room and we have two fireplaces downstairs. Using natural candle and fire light when possible is my preference as I like to keep the LED lights to a minimum. In the bedroom our wake up light alarm simulates a natural awakening to sunshine experience. Downstairs I use a simple blue energy light box to help fight winter blues. These lights have a similar effect on well-being as a sunny blue sky and just 20 minutes a day can help with those energy dips. It is also helpful to bring flowers, herbs, and seasonal yard clippings into the home.
Fresh Air and Exercise
If you are following my instagram stories, you’ll notice I’m outdoors walking my pup Layla a lot. Rain or shine we walk or (gently) jog. Sometimes I need to be alone on my walks and if that’s the case, I usually listen to a podcast or call my mom. Most of the time I’m walking with family or friends. It’s an opportunity to connect with others and talk about various topics. Once a friend of mine was feeling blue and said there is no sun here, I need the sun! My response was there is sun, it’s just behind those gray clouds;) If you do plan to weather the weather, dress for it and always take a flashlight and fanny-pack of sorts with a snack. I hike in Merrels and wear couple light a couple layers under my North Face jacket. It’s the perfect last layer because it’s lightweight and can take a lot of water before I start to feel cold. Keeping your head warm with a beanie is also a good idea and when the temperatures get into the 30’s I always wear gloves and have hand warmers handy.
Seek Out What Nourishes
Eat warm, nourishing foods. In the summer it’s easy to add salads and fresh fruits to the menu but as temperatures drop we crave warm, comfort food. To make sure my family gets their veges, I’ll prepare a smoothie and add a handful of spinach leaves and super foods to the mix. Rather than trying to guzzle the whole thing, I serve small portions with a steaming bowl of oats. It’s easier to get down in the morning;) My soup pot has a permanent spot on my stove in the wintertime. Tonight I’m making a coconut curry vegetable dish served over brown rice. Another favorite winter is Minestrone with warm crusty bread. Both comfort and nourish. Add chicken or turkey sausage if your body needs a little extra protein. It’s also a good idea to have your vitamin D levels checked. The current recommendation is that we should supplement with at least 2,000 iu’s of vitamin D daily particularly during the winter months.
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