Seasonal Tips for Winter:
Winter can be a hard time for many of us. The days are shorter and the rain, wind and snow can limit what activities we do. Energetically, the cold constricts and slows down movement. According to TCM, the winter is the time of Yin or a gentler, slower and darker time of year. Many cultures have celebrations around this time of year to help encourage the “light” to come back. Here are a couple of tips to help you through this slow and dark period:
- Meditate: practice some form of meditation every day. Meditation is simply a way to regulate breath. You can sit, do yoga, tai chi or qi gong. Winter is the time of year to replenish and simplify.
- Exercise: Move your body every day for 30 minutes. You are not trying for world records. A steady yet gentle walk will do. Use this activity as a way to connect with others.
- Eat warm foods: get out the crock pot or slow cooker and make dishes with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, orange rind, anise, pepper, or nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne or curry.
- Drink warm beverages only: Cut back on coffee because it over stimulates and depletes you. Eliminate iced cold beverages such as pop or diet drinks. Sip warm water, herbal teas or loose leaf chai tea.
The emphasis during winter is replenishment. The organs associated with winter are the kidneys. The kidneys and adrenal glands are closely connected and considered the same thing in Chinese medicine. Stress or an over abundance of adrenaline within the body depletes you of stored energy that is necessary to fight off disease and to help manage stress. Signs of kidney fatigue: low back and knee pain, hot flashes or night sweats, low libido, low energy, feeling cold, low thyroid function, frequent sickness.
We cannot have winter without summer, yin without yang. Make the most of this season and nourish your body, mind and spirit.
In good health,