Well, here we are. It is April 16, 2018 in Minnesota and we've been blanketed in snow. Again. Winds are whipping, the sun is hiding and while it is beautiful, many of us are feeling "over it".
As we look around and take in the beauty of this extended winter, we can see the lessons that Nature teaches us and are reminded of a few things:
- The artful balance of surrender, ground and flow, when something is truly out of our control
- The importance of slowing down
- The discipline it can take to care for ourselves, no matter the external circumstances
- The power of mindset and its effects on our well-being
Here are a few ideas on how to continue to care for ourselves, through this final stretch of winter weather.
- Getting outside for a walk can do us a whole world of good. When we see a break in the wind and feel that pull to come out of the cave, let's honor that pull by stepping outside. If a walk feels treacherous, let's stand out in the yard and stretch our arms wide, opening our rib cages and taking deep, full breaths. Let's feel the air on our faces and allow our minds to go quiet.
- Let's take a break from the couch + Netflix combination to move our hips, replacing stagnation with gentle, healthy flow. Pelvic tilts, figure 8's on the ball, belly dancing to some amazing music or even hula-hooping indoors if you've got the space to do so!
- Anybody else's skin feeling thick, hard or dry? Let's set aside a few minutes for some exfoliation! Dry brushing and/or a good scrub will help your skin's process of shedding, your body's work of detoxification and your lymphatic system's big job of moving lymph through your system. Followup with a warm shower or bath and some really good oil to nourish our beautiful bodies.
EAT and HYDRATE
- Cold weather can stir-up a craving for foods that bring comfort. Broths, infusions of nettles (oh, how wonderful it will be to have access to fresh plants again!), coconut milks and warming plants like ginger can all feel so good to our bodies on a snow day.
- Simmering a soup, stew or curry on the stovetop fills our homes with mouth-watering scent and adds to the overall feeling of "home" in our spaces.
- If meat is part of the diet, roast something in the oven for dinner and transfer the bones to a pot for a gorgeous batch of homemade broth that can be sipped the next morning, easing our bodies into the day.
- Let's take a nap — it's practically required on a snow day.
- We can take extra care with our bedtime routine by dressing the bed with fresh linens, spritzing our pillows with a bit of lavender oil, lighting a candle and reading a book instead of scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Keep the room cool (easy to do on a short winter-into-spring night) and take a warm soak before snuggling into your comfy bed — the cool-down process helps us to get sleepy.
- Take 20 minutes to elevate our feet (extra beneficial if any swelling or varicosities have popped up) and ask someone in your household to take turns giving a really good foot massage.
- Connect to Self: Pray, journal, meditate, do breath work, feel our bodies.
- Connect to Family: Take some time to just be, together. Whatever that looks like in your home.
- Connect to Community: We can take a few minutes to put pen to paper and mail a note to someone we love. We can invite friends and family over for an "Anti-Freeze" gathering — share a meal, play some games, hangout and laugh.
SIMPLY FOR THE JOY OF IT
Rather than looking ahead and impatiently itching for the spring that's yet to have sprung, we can take this opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures that exist in our lives. Make some music, create something, look up at the moon, receive affection, comb slowly through hair... whatever brings us joy.
Let's soak-in these last days of hibernation.
Be Well. Be Loved. Be Nourished.