How to do winter: tending to the body, mind and spirit during the Holiday Season, between the years
Let’s face it: The holiday season is a lot. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you’ll feel the energy and the stressed buzz in the collective. Additionally, it is a time of transition, and so many things seem to need finishing before the new year. Finally, winter has just reached its peak – two further months of cold and dark can feel a bit daunting.
So, it’s important to take good care of the body, mind and spirit. What follows is a collection of my favourite seven tools to counter overwhelm and to stay centered and strong in yourself – which is especially important for people who are sensitive.
1. Let’s start with a kind reminder: Be gentle with yourself! Don’t blame yourself if you ate too much, drank too much, slept too little. This is not the time to be overly strict and stern with yourself. That is the first advice. Be kind to yourself. Accept that it is a special time of the year.
2. And yes, you do have a miracle potion at your hands when you have overeaten fat, sugars, and alcohol: greens. Always have greens! It doesn’t matter what else you eat as part of the dish, but one portion has to be greens. It can be in whatever form you like, even as spirulina tablets or green powders. Greens help balance sugar levels, and counteract the fat – even if you only do that, it will be a much easier holiday season in terms of food. I personally like salads and always suggest raw food, but do what is possible for you. Greens are also balancing and strengthening for the immune system.
3. Prioritize sleep! Or at least: have downtime. Switch off. When you can, have some time by yourself before you go to bed. 30 mins before going to bed, prioritise doing something for yourself. Get away from the computer, from all screens, dim the lights, do a red-light therapy session, stretch, or take some calm moment doing your skin ritual or drinking calming tea – anything like that. Set the mood for sleep. You can also sit down and look back at your day – so you don’t take the dramas and difficulties of the day to bed and likely not sleep well.
4. It’s also the time of year when you want to increase the vitamins, minerals and elixirs you are taking. It’s winter, that’s one thing, the cold and being indoors affect our immunity. But you are also going to see a lot of people, the stress is high, so we need all the boosters and strengtheners in our arsenal. Take them now, regularly. Make it a ritual of lovingly nurturing yourself. I love the Anima Mundi , especially the Soma Mushroom Blend and the Black Elderberry Syrup. The magic is in the mushrooms – well, not the magic mushrooms, but the medicinal mushrooms. That’s my advice: Focus on greens and medicinal mushrooms. They will keep you stable, centered and – that is the keyword: resilient.
5. Another helpful thing in a time of overindulging: intermittent fasting. Skip one meal! If you know you are going to eat a lot for dinner, then skip lunch. Or skip the breakfast. If you have never done intermittent fasting, now is a good time to introduce it.
6. Another way to boost mood and the immune system: aromas! Essential oils are best. Have diffusers around, or drop some essential oils on the floor of your shower if you step in, which creates a bit of a Turkish bath experience. It makes you feel good, relaxes or revitalises you, depending on the essential oils you use, and really gives you an extra boost. It’s actually absolutely incredible – I personally do not have a shower without putting essential oils first! It really wakes me up. There are also wonderful blends, including from Living Libations, to boost your immune system and strengthen your adrenals – especially the firs and spruce, and all the Christmas aromas. For the adrenals, rub them on your lower back. Use them to calm yourself, energise yourself, to keep yourself centered.
7. Skincare is a wonderful way to sneak in a bit of time for yourself. Make it delicious! Enjoy the ritual, and when you massage your face, be aware of the tension in your jaw, the back of your neck, between the eyes, and on the forehead. Be present with your face, hold it in your hands, and let the tension melt into them. We accumulate a lot of stress and tension there, especially in the back of the neck and the jaw. The skincare ritual is a good time to put our hands there, reminding us to relax.
All of this is about creating harmony inside of yourself. We want internal resilience, a centred self – so you can be okay with whatever is happening outside. We want a resilient self love.