Winter can be a difficult time for many people. The days are shorter and darker, the sun doesn’t shine as brightly, and it can feel isolating being cooped up indoors when it feels unbearably cold outside. Even though I was born and raised here in Canada every year I struggle to get through the winter. With many years of experimenting with different healing modalities I have found some simple but very effective ways to find balance during this time of year.
- Create a sacred space. No matter how big or small having a special place you can go to for reflection, to practice yoga, read a book, listen to music or just breathe can help bring you back to yourself and your personal truth. When creating this space make sure to fill it with things that bring you joy, like beautiful pictures with inspiring quotes, your favourite crystals, incense, plants or inspirational books. Keep this space energetically clean, a place that is filled only with healing energy. I am lucky enough to have a room dedicated to healing and rejuvenating in my house open to anyone who needs a space to do so.
- Go into nature any chance you get. This can be hard when it is -40C outside but for the days that are a little less freezing I suggest going out into nature. Go and hug a tree, feed the birds, and breathe in the fresh air. Enjoy the beauty that comes along with winter like frosted leaves on the pine trees and snow covered trails. Just being in the forest and being in the presence of nature is grounding. Take it all in! It is healing energy there free of charge for anyone needing it.
- Ground to the earth through your hands. When people talk about grounding themselves in nature they tend to refer to this process of grounding through your feet by placing them bare onto the earth. For a lot of us that is how we experience that sensation of grounding, however this can also be felt and experienced through connecting with our hands. From the time I was a baby I wanted to touch everything. This is how most children first begin to sense and understand the world around them is through touch. So take the time to reconnect back to those first instinctual habits. Touch the moss, feel the bark on the trees, or the texture of the side of a rocky mountain, close your eyes and feel. Touch anything that is rooted and connected to the earth. This will still send you all the benefits of grounding.
- Practice yoga, martial arts or other movement therapy or practice. In the winter we spend most of our time with big warm socks and boots on, we are hardly ever barefoot. Focusing your energy on imagining that connections from your feet down into the earth pulling that energy up through the soles of your feet while practicing a body, mind activities such as yoga or martial arts. This helps to draw that energy from the earth beneath even if you can’t physically place your feet on the earth.
- Burning sage, incense and/or aromatherapy. There is so many health benefits when using good quality aromatherapy and incenses such as sage. Not only can they act as cleansing agent in any space and within your auric field but it can also help to facilitated an opening up of the charkas, bringing you back into alignment. Using these elements form the plants and the earth brings that same grounding essence found when you are in the forest or a garden.
- Get your hands dirty. I find so much joy in getting my hands in some soil. I do this by attending to my indoor plant; my “winter” garden as I like to refer to it. Taking care of something and watching it bloom like a Christmas cactus in the middle of the winter is so up lighting to the spirit. If you don’t have any indoor plants, I highly suggest going to a local indoor nature conservatory or even a greenhouse. Find time to connect back into nature by being surrounded by nature. Sitting in these places and breathing in the fresh air and touching the plants can help you find your balance again.
- Winter sunbathing. I know this might seen a bit odd but once again I highly recommend trying it. Find a spot in your house that fills up with sunshine, set out a blanket and just bask in the sunshine. My childhood cat did this daily growing up and I now know why. Animals instinctively do what we tend to ignore. The sun is not only grounding but it helps to give you vitamin D which especially important in colder climates, It also charges the energetic systems of the body as it does the plants giving life to everything around it. So find a blanket, set it up on the floor of your living room or bedroom, remove as much clothes as feels comfortable and lay and enjoy the warmth and the healing energy you receive.
- Get energy work done. This could be in the form of acupuncture, reflexology, or reiki to name a few. Go and make time for yourself to get a service of your choice done once a month if possible. Not only does it give you something to look forward to but it nice to receive love and care from someone else. I recently had reflexology done and I can’t put into words how beneficial it was for my overall wellbeing. If finding a service like this is difficult or not affordable to you, get your spouse or family member to rub your feet with aromatherapy. Any sort of massage to the feet will open up all sorts of energy channels that will help move that stagnate energy out and get fresh blood flowing. Reiki is another wonderful treatment to get done. With gentle to no touch it can help relieve stress and bring you back into a state of calm.
- Meditation, prayer, or reflection. It is always beneficial to spend time in silence, even if it’s only for 5 mins. When you disconnect from the buzzing of the world around you and go inward, it gives yourself a chance to reconnect back with your body, mind and spirit. Even a few cleansing breathes can make all the difference. If you have a hard time with calming the mind I suggest doing a guided meditation. I love ones that take you into nature, where you can imagining rooting yourself into the earth. Sit in self-reflection, silence, thoughts of gratitude or maybe listen to your choice of vibrational music/tones, subliminal messages or maybe a yoga nidra. Find whatever best suits your personal needs, put your headphones on and let go.
- Eat grounding foods, teas and herbs. I think it instinctual for a lot of us that live in these colder climates to gravitate toward more warming, grounding foods. I have no trouble in the summer eating primarily a raw vegan diet but come fall winter I crave more plant based grounding foods. Root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, squashes, beets, carrots are all grounding. Warming soups, and tea tonics can also help to bring comfort while balancing out your physical and energetic systems.
Incorporating these practices into my daily life has drastically changed how I cope throughout the winter. I hope that some of these suggestion help set you on a path of finding holistic wellness at any time of the year but especially the during the cooler months.