I can’t help but feel deep gratitude for the winter. Winter teaches us the need to be still. In its darkness, we can see our own. Its intensity forces us inside. A reminder to look inside ourselves at the shadows, and sort through the illusions they create. Under the snow and ice is life resting, waiting for the right moment to burst forth. What stirs under the surface of you? Do you allow yourself time to rest? Are there hidden talents, fears, or interests yet to be pursued? The answer to that question is YES. Use this time to mine for new life within yourself. To face the fear standing in the way of who you are becoming and to think about how you want to spend your time moving forward.
I have created the following list of suggestions and journal prompts to get you started on your own wintering journey:
Mediation- it does not have to be long, it does not even have to be sitting still. I find that sometimes I am too antsy to sit and meditate so I find something like folding laundry or doing a puzzle while I listen to a guided meditation to be just as beneficial.
Weighted blankets- Using a weighted blanket is great for soothing anxiety, but for most, they are too hot to use all year. Take advantage of the cold to snuggle up with one.
Do less- You have the whole year to run around and get together with people. Say NO to a few more activities and just be at home. Give yourself some space and quiet.
Soak in Epsom salts- A nice hot, relaxing bath with Epsom salts can soothe away more than your aches and pains. Epsom salt is a great way to clear your energy of any negativity. (Providing it is safe for you to be in a hot bath. If not just soak your feet.)
Journal- Think about the year just passed. Think about the plans you had that never came to be. Writing down your plans and ideas transforms them into goals. Journal through each goal. Why is it important? What is your motivation behind each one?
What are the three lessons I learned from last year?
How have my experiences from the last year changed me?
What am I afraid of as I move into a new year?
How have I allowed my fears to stop me?
Rearrange the furniture- Believe it or not changing the position of the furniture in a room can change the energy in your home. (read books on feng shui.)
Clean out closets- Getting rid of items that you no longer use makes your home less cluttered. A less cluttered environment reduces anxiety. Donating those items to charities can help you feel good and can serve as a great lesson to children about the act of giving.
Bake- baking can be a great way to bring warmth to your home. It’s a great activity to do as a family and it too can be very meditative.
Spend time in nature- I know it’s cold, but this time of year offers something that most seasoned do not. Solitude. Hiking trails and parks are less likely to be busy. You can use that stillness to reflect. So, pack up a picnic, a blanket, and hot chocolate and hit the trails! (I do still suggest doing this with at least one other person, hiking alone can be dangerous. Choose a person who is comfortable with silence. Listening to what nature has to say is best done with a closed mouth.)
Read- Use this time to read self-help books. I am not just saying this because I write self-help books, I am saying this because the world is filled with the works of brilliant, and talented minds who have so much wisdom to impart. Wisdom that is yours for the taking. Reading gives us new perspectives. It allows us deeper understandings of not only ourselves, but the others and the world. Reading gives us access to new ways to thinking, being, and experiencing. Wisdom gained from what we learn in life is all we get to take with us when we go.