Winter Solstice: a time of rest + renewal
Your permission to pause and rest.
As we near the end of the year, I want to remind you that it’s okay to slow down during this season, especially if 2020 has left you feeling burned-out or emotionally exhausted.
I know it’s not always socially acceptable to slow down, but if we look to nature for inspiration, we’re reminded that the resting season lays the ground work for growth and renewal.
Winter isn’t the most glamorous of the seasons, but it’s a necessary part of the cycle of life. After the abundance of summer and the harvests of fall, when we reap the rewards of our efforts and energy over the year, the earth needs rest.
Rest to rejuvenate, to allow nutrients to build back up in the soil, to let work happen inside and underground. Out of sight, yes, but work that’s essential for the functioning of many plants and animals.
This fallow season, where the land lies still, is also our time to rest. The dark days encourage us to sleep more, move more slowly, eat nutrient rich foods, and conserve our energy. All the while, our bodies are resting, repairing, and preparing us for the longer days and energy of summer.
Just as sleep is essential for us to function, so is winter rest. If we don’t sleep, we feel “off” the next day, and not our best selves. Sleep is a time not just for our brains to rest, but for our bodies to do all kinds of repairs and maintenance work that can’t get done when we’re awake.
So give yourself the gift of slowing down this month. Give yourself time and space to process and digest all that’s happened this year. Honor this season of reflection.
As we move closer to the solstice and the shortest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere), allow yourself to take a couple things off your to-do list.
Have a cup of tea.
Read a book.
Take a bath.
Go to bed early.
You don’t have to do anything major, but just see if you can let one or two things go and create space for rest. Real rest. Not instagram scrolling or Netflix, but truly honoring your body’s desire to move more slowly.
Especially if you’ve been trying to conceive, think of this season as your body’s time to build up more energy and resources she can use to sustain new life in the new year. Take this time to prepare for the next fertile season.
When we listen to our bodies, honor their needs, and flow in rhythm with the seasons, we can work with nature instead of against her.
You don’t need permission, but if you’ve been waiting for it, here it is:
Your permission to pause. Slow down. Honor your body, your needs.
Take whatever time you need to rest and reflect. You deserve it.
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