During these months it is a good idea to try and slow down a little, find some stillness in your day and in your life. Find some space to reflect and to restore yourself. Here are a few ways I find that help me do this.
Turn in early
… and treat it like a treat not a chore! In the evenings turn off the box set, light some candles and catch up with a friend or partner instead. Do some light yoga. Have a warm bath. Rub your feet with some warm oil, put on some cosy socks, hop in to bed and read a good book. Turn the lights out by 10.30.
Find a way to pause twice or three times a day for 5 minutes. Set a reminder on your phone if that helps. Sit quietly, close your eyes, breath deep. Pay attention to where the tension is and see if you can let it go a little. Or go for a short, slow walk outside. Notice the little things that you might bluster by normally.
Winter belongs to the Element of Water. Water makes up well over 65% of our body. We need it! Buy a flask and get in to the habit of sipping warm water throughout the day. You should be aiming for 2 liters.
But keep it warm – make porridge for breakfast and add some cinnamon as it cooks, eat lots of soups and stews. Eat seasonally and nature will help you out – lots of root vegetables, foods you can slow cook, pulses, whole grains. Add warming spices to your food. Black pepper, turmeric, cumin, cloves. I have some winter recipes here you can check out.
Keep your Kidneys toasty
The organs related to Water and therefore to Winter in Chinese Medicine are the Kidneys and the Bladder. The Kidneys are the source of our jing, or our ancestral qi. They are particularly important to maintain our fertility. And they don’t like to be cold. So don’t sit on cold surfaces, drink plenty of warm water and always keep your lower back wrapped up well. You can wrap a scarf around your middle under your coat very easily.