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How winter hibernation can sooth the soul

Winter - short days, low temperatures, cold bones, endless rain, cosy fireplaces, icy breath, and warm hearty soups.

As someone who grew up in tropical Venezuela the cold Australian winters aren’t always easy for me, although the soup and fireplaces aren't all bad. But there’s no escaping winter, so I like to use it as an opportunity to bunker down and reflect on where things are heading, to take a moment to sleep more and restore some of the energy I'll need to help more people in the coming months.


It would be wonderful if we humans could hibernate like animals do. To burrow down and wait out the cold in our cave, unfortunately life commitments can’t easily be put on hold like that. I find that most people who live in cold weather are more productive with their minds, and they are also used to facing their fears and go within rather than outside of themselves. In the Caribbean, people are very outgoing, they bury some of the sadness and they care less about the future, living more on a daily basis. For them, there is no winter to prepare for, food growing is never scarce.

Historically, our activities and lifestyle were largely dictated by the weather, but just because we have the benefits of modern technology doesn’t mean our bodies have

forgotten that innate desire to move with nature's cycles.


‘Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,

for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk

beside the fire: it is time for home.’

– Edith Sitwell –

We can’t expect ourselves to endlessly deliver high productivity at work or around the home. Just like the seasons, our bodies run in rhythms of growth and idleness. On the daily we have a cycle of activity and rest, so why not yearly as well?

We can’t fully hibernate, but we can alter the pace of our lives to reflect that of a slow, cold winter, to help restore ourselves; mind, body, and spirit. So, this winter, try listening to that whisper from nature with the sharpness of a winter's mind. What is required of you, to be able to feel accomplished in your life?

 

I would love to give you a place to start:

FOLLOW NATURE’S CUES: When you’re feeling tired at the end of the day even when it’s only eight pm, take yourself to bed and wake revived instead of depleted. Just because it’s early, doesn’t mean you must stay up to fit in more work or Netflix. TV doesnt put your mind to rest, it is still instructing your subconscious.


FUEL YOUR BODY WITH COMFORT FOODS: Foods that are warm and hearty are the perfect fuel for Winter, but it's normal and easy to reach for the most fat full ones. Give your body a warm hug of the best kind, with real, fresh ingredients on your plate. My Vegan Lasagne Soup, is perfect for a cold winter's night, or for something really nutritious, you might like my Hearty Winter Tumeric & Vegetable Soup, or this packed pull of freshness Vegetable Laksa, (pictured here) will be sure to warm your souls.



PUT VITAMIN D INTO YOUR DIET: Without this vital vitamin from the sunshine, you might like to replace it in your diet. Mushrooms, fish, eggs, and soy products are all rich in vitamin D. Even better, give yourself at least 10 minutes of direct sunlight. And eat as many live and raw veggies as you can, they are filled with sunlight.

STAY WARM: This is especially important if you suffer from inflammation that gets worse in the cold. So grab a blanket, cuddle a hot pack, or sit by the fire. Do whatever you need to do to keep the cold away.

DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE: Increase your dopamine by doing rewarding activities. Sew, read, take a luxuriously long bath.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO SLOW: You’re not being lazy, you’re being restful, there’s a difference. Allow yourself this time to rest and recuperate. To go slow and catch your breath. The more sociable months will return, it’s okay for these ones to be quiet.

Give yourself the space and time to reflect and recharge. Cocoon yourself into a cozy ball of hibernation, so when Spring arrives your soul will feel fresh and ready for what the universe has prepared for your next season.


Wishing you a gentle, warm, and revitalising Winter ahead.

With love,


The Enchantress

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