Winter doesn’t have to be the time of year that you hate! Learn how to make the most of the season with these four tips for taking full advantage of living slow. Discover how to enjoy the simple things and savor every moment of winter with these practical ideas.
As we enter the mid-point of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us feel the darkness creeping in. With the shorter days and longer nights, the chill of the cold temperatures, and the lack of sunlight, winter can be difficult to appreciate. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real phenomenon, and the dreary weather can leave us feeling cooped up and restless. But if we learn to work with the energy of this season and the serenity of winter, we can find many positive things to gain. Let’s take the time to explore the beauty of living slow this winter season.
I am deeply connected to the mystical and spiritual power of nature, and especially the cyclical nature of the seasons. I find a sense of peace and understanding when I contemplate the beauty of the natural world and its precise timing. There is perfect harmony in the idea of success through acceptance, and it soothes my modern soul.
By looking to the wisdom of the natural world, we can see that even in the depths of winter, life is still present. The seemingly barren branches of the trees may appear lifeless, but their living essence is alive and well within. Nature teaches us that sometimes living slow is necessary for taking a rest and conserving energy, and in doing so, we find renewal.
Winter is a beautiful time for living slow and appreciating life’s simple moments. I like to use this time to go deeper into herbalism studies, create delicious meals, and make my home feel warm and inviting. As a bit of a homebody, winter gives me the opportunity to focus on improving and taking care of myself.
Below are 4 of my favorite ways to embrace the inward energy of winter while living slow.
A Time for Self-Improvement
Winter is an opportune time to work on self-improvement. With the long nights and the tendency to stay indoors more, it provides a great opportunity to focus on learning, growing, and developing yourself. Take this time to explore your interests, whether that be studying herbalism, learning a new skill, crafting, or even making gifts. You can even take online classes to further your knowledge and skills. The possibilities are truly endless, and winter provides the perfect backdrop!
Here are some of the great free classes you can take for self-improvement while living slow in the winter if you’re into herbal studies like I am:
- The Chestnut School of Herbal Studies offers the Free class Handcrafted Herbalism Mini-Course
- Free Herbalism Mini Course from Home Herb School
- The Herbalista Free School offers all of their classes for free.
- The Herbal Academy often offers Free classes and workshops. Right now they are offering a free Cancer Series called Held in Hope: Resources for Holistic Cancer Care
- The Wildflower School of Herbal Medicine offers a FREE Introduction to Herbalism Mini Course
- Medicine Lodge Ranch offers a free Herbal Medicine Making Mini Course.
Nourishing Body & Mind
Winter is the perfect time to practice self-care and nourish both your mind and body. The cold weather and shorter days can leave us feeling sluggish and unmotivated, so it’s important to prioritize activities that give us a boost of energy and nurture our well-being.
Here are a few ideas to help you nourish your mind and bodies during winter:
- Taking a few moments to meditate, practice yoga, journal, or go for a walk can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and increase mindfulness.
- Eating healthy, nutritious meals can help keep your body feeling energized, your mind sharp, and boost the immune system. Check our recipe index for some nourishing meal ideas.
- Taking the time to read a book, listen to music, or explore a new hobby can also be helpful for nurturing your mental health.
- Take a warm bath or shower – it can help you relax and unwind. Here’s a great bath salts recipe to help soothe all that stress away.
- Get plenty of sleep – it can help you feel refreshed and energized.
- Be creative – studies have shown that being creative can increase positive emotions, lessen depressive symptoms, reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and even improve immune system functioning. I love doing nature and herbal crafts such as basket making, branch weaving, making bath melts, or mixing herbal tea blends.
- Using our herbal allies to help us through these darker days. They can keep our immune systems boosted and aid us with their amazing healing properties. My favorites during winter are white pine, ginger, peppermint, turmeric, and cinnamon.
Winter is the perfect time to focus on yourself and to give your mind and body the nourishment it needs.
Gathering with Friends
Embracing the solace of winter doesn’t mean we need to stay isolated all season. We can still welcome the inward energy of winter while slowing down and bringing our get-togethers indoors. Whereas a cookout in the backyard manifests the summer’s outward energy, hot cocoa, hearty soups and freshly baked bread are more fitting for the inward energy of winter.
Recognizing this inward energy, we can adjust our plans to keep ourselves and our communities nurtured during this time of reprieve. Instead of hosting a large group, opt for a smaller gathering. Instead of a variety of grilled dishes and sides, make a comforting casserole, a pot of soup, or slow-cooker meal. Staying connected with friends and family can warm us from the inside out, and brighten the long, dark nights of winter.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to spend an evening gathering with friends:
- Have a movie marathon – Get cozy with your friends and watch some of your favorite movies.
- Have a game night – Play board games, do puzzles, or even create your own games.
- Cook a meal together – Take turns cooking, baking, and experimenting with recipes.
- Have a craft night – Get creative and make something from scratch.
Fluffing My Nest
Winter brings with it a special invitation to all living beings to take a step back and relax. With shorter and colder days, modern humans are often inclined to stay close to home and enjoy the cozy comforts of their own space. This is the ideal time to invest in your home and make it a place that truly brings you joy. For me, that means making home improvements and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that I can relax in. Taking the time to make my home a comfortable haven is one of my favorite things to do during the winter.
Winter is the time to invest in small upgrades can make a world of difference. Adding candles, pillows, and cozy throw blankets can instantly make a space more inviting and comfortable. You can also make potpourri on your stove top or use an essential oil diffuser to give the air a beautiful scent. These small changes can make your home a place that you want to spend more time in. Have fun with it and make your home a special place for you and your loved ones.
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