It’s the first week of Winter here in Australia, and you can start to see a chill in the air, even in the middle of the day.
It’s definitely time for beanies and burning fires. With the cold and rain comes shorter days, longer nights, and a general slowing down of everything – your mind, your body, the world.
It got me thinking of the bigger cycles guiding the world, and how they affect us.
Here’s what’s going on and what you can do to align your self in the Winter months.
Cycles And Seasonal Changes
We constantly go through Seasonal cycles – it’s a given, it’s a fact of human life and life on Earth and it’s never going to change. Seasons may differ in different regions, but there are still broad features that cross all boundaries.
But one thing we often overlook is what each season actually does and how this affects us individually and collectively.
- Spring –is the time for growth. For planting seeds and letting the seeds sprout and grow on their own. It is a time for patience, for letting go and allowing some seeds to grow and others to fail – and of trusting the process.
- Summer – is the time of full bloom. Of roses opening and reaping the rewards of all the work that’s been done to date. It is a time of experiencing the richness – colour, energy and warmth – of what life has to offer.
- Autumn – is the time of harvest. Of reaping the rewards of all the time and energy that has been expended since the last harvest.
- Winter – is a time of rest and decay. It is the death and end of a cycle. It is a time for letting the soil lie fallow and allowing things rest before the next cycle of life and growth.
The cycle of the seasons is reflected every where in life as it moves through:
- Full bloom
Winter And Decay
Winter is about decay and hibernation – every thing supports this – the weather, the light, the general energy of the season. No wonder people feel tired, lethargic and hermit-like.
If you respond to the bigger cycles that guide the world we live in, they are begging us to stop, slow down, rest and take a break. So that you can rejuvenate and regenerate for the next phase of birth and growth.
In ancient civilisations a lifestyle was created to work with the seasons – food was grown in accordance with the seasons so that the harvest would last through the colder months when work was minimal.
Winter In The Modern World
In the modern world we’ve got it all wrong. We ignore the seasons and just create a constant barrage of tasks and to-do’s and deadlines and milestones. When one ends the next begins – there’s no time to rest.
We’ve industrialised every thing – food production, work, education. We’ve removed the need to connect with and respond to and change with the seasons. We’ve kind of become robotic.
But, you’re not a robot. You’re not a machine. You’re not industrialised. You’re a human being.
Whether you like it or not, as a living creature you are connected to the bigger cycles and they do affect you.
Working With The Seasons
Things that can change in response to the seasons include:
- Your mood – Your response to the environment and what’s going on around you.
- Your metabolism – Animals that go into hibernation mode tend to store fat and slow digestion, in response to limited food over the coming Winter months – are humans any different? During this period you’re less likely to do exercise, because it’s too darn cold outside!
- Your immunity – You notice illness a lot in Winter, especially on public transport…eww!
It’s important to work with your Winter and acknowledge it as a part of the natural process of life, birth, growth and death – instead of fight it. That’s just exhausting.
Here’s three things you can do to work with the Winter blues.
01 – Mood: Get Into The Light
Make sure you maximise your time and exposure to natural daylight. It’s good for the soul. It’s good for your mood.
I remember living in London -you’d start work in the dark and leave work in the dark, with no real exposure to natural daylight unless you went outside in the middle of the day.
Winter days aren’t as short here in Australia, but put it in your diary to get out of the office every day and take a quick walk, even if it is just around the block!
02 – Metabolism: Eat Well
Avoid excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or any other substance to overcome sluggishness and lethargy.
Make sure you’re eating foods that warm the body and are easy to digest (as you’re exercise has likely to have reduced). That’s why soups and stews are good this time of year – your body can take the nutrients and
03 – Immunity: Stop, Slow Down, Rest, Sleep
Whatever your philosophies around health and medicine, you can’t deny the fact that there are a shite-load of sick people around this time of year.
Me… I put it down to the fact that when you never take the time to rest, your body will figure out a way to force you into it. that’s what sickness is – your body’s way of telling you to stop.
If you haven’t developed a lifestyle that supports your overall health and wellbeing, then chances are this is going to be you.
Winter is about slowing down and resting and rejuvenating, and one way or another you will be forced into it. Better to accept this and plan ahead.
Start by accepting that you might just be a little slower in Winter – and that’s totally ok. Don’t fight it – work with it. Rest and relax when you need to – Springs coming and Summer will get here. No need to panic and force things.
How has Winter affected you? Are you fighting it and forcing your way through? Or, have you pulled back and allowed your self to rest and recharge?
What new habits have you created?
Leave your comments and questions below.