Welcome to Winter! Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and the turning point that marks the beginning of the winter season. This is the perfect time to look inward, embrace the darkness, and check in with our bodies to be sure we are aligning with Mother Nature. The better you take care of yourself now, the better prepared you will be for the transformative, blossoming energy of Spring that is a few months away.
As our Solstice gift to you, we’ve outlined our top 7 tips to stay healthy during the Winter:
1. Nourish your adrenal glands
Yes, yes, you’ve heard us say this many times before! If you haven’t before, now’s the time to listen ;) As the deeply-wired stress-responsive glands and roots of your reproductive health, your adrenal glands need all the support they can get during any stressful time, but especially during the holidays and winter season. As the wisdom of Chinese Medicine tells us, the winter season is when our adrenals and kidneys are most dominant and open to support or damage – depending on how we treat them. Support your adrenal glands with proper nutrition for the season. Include sea vegetables, kidney beans, black sesame seeds, chestnuts, sardines, buckwheat, beets, and miso in your diet.
2. Move your body
Even if you’re out of town for the holidays or stuck inside after a snowstorm, there are plenty of ways to stay active indoors. Start each morning with three sun salutations or download a yoga class off of YouTube. Let loose - turn up the radio and dance to your favorite music! And if you’re up for the outdoors, plan a date and go ice skating with your friends, family or lover.
3. Think before you choose hot drinks
While it can be tempting to grab a gingerbread latte or mocha as refuge from the cold, beware of energy-zapping effect these caffeinated, sugary beverages can have on your adrenals over the long term. Instead, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your hot drink options while still being kind to your body. Spice up your herbal tea and get more antioxidants by adding a handful of dried goji berries in the cup. Have steamed rice milk, nut milk or soy milk with a dash of nutmeg, vanilla and a sweetener of your choice. At Starbucks, go for a tea “Misto” with soy milk. Need some caffeine? Kukicha twig tea and roasted green tea make delicious yet gentle winter options. Relax with your favorite book and sip away.
4. Load up on water inside you
Since Winter represents the Water Element, take extra care in providing your body with quality, pure water frequently throughout the day. Invest in a purifying filter, to rid your water of any impurities and save the earth the carbon footprint of using plastic bottles. Squeeze a slice of lemon and add a dash of cayenne for a liver-cleansing and warming bonus!
5. Bathe in water around you
The perfect way to end a winter’s day? Immerse yourself in a hot bath filled with your favorite salts, herbs and essential oils. It will soothe your skin from the harsh weather and promote detoxification. Light a few candles and play soothing music to promote your deepest relaxation.
6. Give and receive
Feeling drained from frantic gift-shopping that feels overdone or unnecessary? Give in a different way this year and feel fulfilled rather than spent. Make a donation to your favorite charity. A few that we love: Women for Women , Kiva.org and Heifer International.
7. Reflect and set intentions
Set aside 30 minutes for yourself. Click here to open the Intention Setting Worksheet. Winter, being the menstruation phase of the year, is the perfect time for reflection and tuning into your inner wisdom. What have you accomplished in the past year? Where do you see yourself in a year from now? Don’t feel compelled to take action – just start writing and see what you come up with.
Wishing you and your families a magical holiday season!
Stay Healthy During the Winter Months!
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