Vacations can be exhausting! Many of us often feel depleted after the holidays with family and friends. And while January is historically the month for New Year’s resolutions and fresh starts, many people feel like they need a vacation from their vacation.
Have you ever needed to go on retreat after the madness of the holidays?
In Easter medicine it is said that staying attuned to the energy of the seasons is an important key to good health. Winter is the time to take it easy, eat warm foods, be contemplative, and relish stillness by slowing down. Even though right now in California it feels like summer, the energy of winter is dark, cold, inward and quiet. It’s the period of gestation for our dormant life energy. This is why trees lose their leaves and save their life-force to come bursting through in spring, animals hibernate or sleep more, and we humans take time off from work to presumably to slow down and have time to be with ourselves and loved ones.
But realistically, what do we do instead? Shop, shop and shop some more. Party, party – eating and drinking till our bellies are bursting. We fly, drive and go all over the place to see family and friends who often trigger all kinds of reactions in us which can be tiring and depleting. It seems clear that among many other things, culturally, we are vastly distant from being in tune with the energetic qualities of winter.
Right now, when our vitality, passion, life energy and enthusiasm are supposed to be brewing to be fully expressed in the spring- like the trees ready to bloom – instead, we are running around exhausting ourselves! So, in what remains of this season (and hopefully for the rest of the year) I invite you to cultivate slowness and notice what nourishes your body mind and spirit.
By making the intention to stay attuned to the energy of the seasons as the year unfolds, right now we can take full advantage of the quietude and stillness of winter. Here are some ideas for replenishing and attuning:
1. Notice Nature. Go for walks outside and notice the changes in the light and the plants.
2. Shop Seasonally. Go to the local San Francisco farmers markets and buy what is growing seasonally.
3. Cultivate Community. Cook something yummy and nourishing with what you bought, having your friends over to share the goodness.
4. Create Coziness. Slow down, take a candle-lit bath with essential oils, be still and relax.
5. Trade Touch. Trade massage with your close friend or lover, or call your favorite healing bodywork massage therapist to make an appointment.
6. Take Time. Sit by the fire with your favorite book while sipping tea or hot chocolate.
7. Commit to Contemplation. Write in your journal about what’s up in your inner realms.
8. Move Mindfully. Walk, take a yoga class, breathe deeply… relish your embodiment.