Clara puts the star on our tree!
Miles and Daddy playing football in the front yard…
Hi! I’m tying up loose ends here around my house for the holidays… getting ready for trips, getting last-minute Christmas orders created and packaged up and in the mail, finishing my children’s book, and sneaking in some holiday crafting with the kids.
Being scattered around my home, both personally and professionally, has me stopping every so often to run through my mid-winter checklist.
I thought I’d share it with you today. It’s just all the things I have pulled together over the years to keep me feeling my best during the darkest month of the year. And with Winter Solstice coming next week, this is the time to make sure we are doing all we can to feel our best and slow down and care for our inner spark while the world sleeps on around us.
It’s okay to take these winter months slower, to tend to our inner needs more, and to make sure we are getting lots and lots of sleep. It’s not only okay, it’s what we are *supposed* to be doing. So let’s run through that checklist together:
Mid Winter Checklist:
1) Are you drinking plenty of water each day?
More important than the foods that we will eat today is our hydration status, especially amidst all this dry artificial heat in our workplace and winter fires in our homes.
Drink and drink and drink even more water then you are used to.
It’s easy to remember to drink water in the summer when you are perspiring, hot, and sticky. It’s tricky to remember to drink it in the winter when you are dry and cold and flaky. Drink it anyway.
2) Are you taking fish oil?
Combatting that winter dryness, and helping to lift the winter fog in our brains that so many feel when the days are so short and the darkness falls… fish oil, flax seed oil, cod oil, any Omega supplements will help smooth out your days and ease your body from the brittleness that winter brings.
3) Are you sleeping more than you usually do in the spring/winter/fall?
Allow yourself to re-connect to the natural rhythm of the earth. These days of bright artificial lights and TV channels that blast shows 24 hours a day can keep us feeling like there isn’t much difference between the middle of the night and the middle of the day.
To your body, to your pineal gland, your hormones, your muscles, your brain… the difference between night and day is iron clad.
You are meant to sleep at night, and you are meant to sleep longer in the winter months.
Allow your body to get an extra hour of sleep each night during the winter… at least in honor of Winter Solstice, vow to sleep an extra hour each night next week and see if your mood, energy level, eating habits, activity level and joy all get a boost!
4) Are you getting out there and touching the earth each day?
We all build up free radical damage, it’s a normal part of life. What is not normal is that we are accruing damage from them, instead of letting them be effortlessly neutralized by the worlds biggest anti-inflammatory ever… the earth.
Ten minutes of direct contact with the earth (socks and jackets and blankets to keep you warm are okay… rubber sole shoes, concrete, heels… not so much) will literally neutralize all the inflammation in your body from head to toe, inside and out.
If I could hook each and every one of you up to a PET scan and show you the difference just ten minutes would make to your body you would be so in love with the earth you would embrace her every day. And if you find you are not getting your ten minute date in with mother earth every single day, please begin taking a Vitamin D supplement and continue to all winter long.
5) Are you pooping?
It’s normal for everything to slow down in the winter, but if your bowels are feeling full of rich and hearty winter meals and you are feeling dense inside, hopefully upping your water intake, taking tons of fish oil, and laying on the earth each day will help restore your daily rhythms.
If not, my favorite remedy is juicing a whole bunch of apples… and as a last resort, as tea with senna in it will certainly help you feel back to normal.
6) Are you allowing yourself gain a few pounds?
You might be an enlightened buddha thriving off the energy of the universe, but your body is an organic, human thing that is connected to the physical earth and responds to the rhythms of the seasons.
Every winter it is normal to slow down and allow a few extra pounds to sustain and warm you.
It is like-wise just as effortless and natural to lose several pounds in the spring as the world awakens and we are drawn to more physical labor such as preparing garden beds, trimming the lawn, spring cleaning our homes, and walking barefoot on the beach.
If we don’t attach all the typical BS to our weight that we usually do, the few pounds that warm us in the winter will be shed without a second thought in the spring.
This is the natural rhythm of the animal world all around you. The first half of winter, while food is still plenty and days grow darker, are a time to allow yourself to find nourishment in foods and warmth under your blankets, eating more and sleeping longer.
In a few months, as the pantry empties out and the holiday parties are long gone, there will be a natural thinning time, a time when the days become noticeably longer and your thoughts turn to the fresh spring salads that will be popping up in your garden.
It is only when we attach a negative meaning to our weight that we attach heaviness and permanency and BULK to it… and these pounds become a part of how we see ourselves forever and we get locked into battle with them and they fight to stay and add and grow, year after year after year. As a result, most people tend to gain a few pounds a year (despite being locked in constant battle and fighting against it the entire time) and accrue this mass permanently, instead of easily gaining and losing a few pounds with the seasons.
It just shows that fighting weight isn’t the way to go. If we dropped all our mental baggage around this rhythm, a rhythm of ebb and flow, of nourishment and lean times, of seasons, we would not gain weight year after year after year, instead we would gain and release.
It’s only our society that fears weight gain that makes it almost *impossible* to drop the pounds without even thinking twice about it late winter and early spring. Now is not the time to allow that mental baggage to taint what should be a natural time of celebration, stocking up, preparing for the winter ahead.
Just as your body yearns for more sleep, your body yearns to fortify your heart and your soul. If you welcome this seasonal change with gratitude, you will be healthier for it.
If you are having trouble standing in gratitude right now, I’ve found the perfect shop for you!
I ordered a Couples Quiz Book from This Is It for my hubby for our anniversary and we are having so much fun filling it out! I can’t believe it, but I have to admit that my husband has gotten more of the questions right about me then I have about him!
And while I was there I ordered a few of these fabbo Gratitude Books. They have daily prompts to help you focus on what you are grateful for… and as I’ve written many many times on this blog, staying in the flow of Gratitude is the best way to get into RECEIVING MODE and to allow all the health and abundance and energy that await you to flow right on in. Gratitude is my secret weapon. And some days it’s harder to connect with that free flowing open space of gratitude then others, and that’s when this Gratitude Journal will help most. I have one for my husband and one for myself, awaiting our stockings in two weeks!
She has lots of other great books too… books for inner transformation and even blank journals for whatever your heart wants to say. Check out This Is It and use coupon code “love25″ for an additional 25% off anything in their shop! Now that, I’m grateful for!
Want some even better news? Right now, on Jodi’s blog (Jodi is the shop owner and creator of This Is It journals) you can get your own eBook, for free! You can choose the gratitude prompts, the couples love quiz, or any of these awesome choices:
Journaling Within: 50 Prompts for Self Exploration
Journaling Further Within: 50 More Prompts for Self Exploration
The Gratitude Book: 50 Prompts to Keep the Grateful Feelings Flowing
Transitions: 50 Prompts to Help Guide You Through Life’s Changes
As If: 50 Prompts to Manifest Your Ideal Life
The Commitment Book: Helping You Keep Your Word to Yourself
Couple’s Love Quiz Book: How Well Do You Know Each Other?
All you do is leave a comment and she emails it right to you! How fabbo is that? Leave her a message and tell her I sent you Enjoy the eBooks, my friends, and I’ll see you back here on Wed.