Winter is a time of the year when we are meant to move inward. Snuggle up inside, wear big cozy cloths, eat nourishing and fulfilling foods...Essentially - Be a bear.
That’s sometimes hard to do because of the constant demand for production that our world asks of us each day.
You’re boss surely doesn’t care if it’s “snuggle up like a bear” season and just wants that report by deadline, am I right?
So, how do we honor that natural pull that we feel to slow down and rest in the winter, while balancing the needs of our daily life?
I mean...you’re kids unfortunately still need to be fed and brought to school...I guess...?
Here are a few things that I do during the Winter to honor the need for stillness.
(I’ve also included a great list of seasonal ingredients that you can take advantage of each week during your shopping. And of course, some recipes to pair!)
Say NO to any extra-curricular activities and events.
These are the things that can add to our schedule and make us overwhelmed real quick.
Saying no to anything other than what’s ABSOLUTELY vital can be hard.
Having a predetermined response that gives you time to decide can be helpful.
My pre-set response to people when I’m asked to join, help, partner, ect. is the following…
“That sounds amazing and something I’d love to be involved with, let me take a look and I'll get back to you.”
This creates space for me to think about it and give a response at a later time.
Sometimes I DO want to part take and then I can say yes whole-heartedly.
Other times (oftentimes), I really do want to do the thing, but need to remember to hold my boundaries. This space for responding gives me the chance to craft a thoughtful response.
Something like, “I’m so honored that you asked me, but I can’t this time around. Please keep me posted for the future though.”
Also - You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Just saying, “no thank you”, is enough.
Let go of expectations a bit
By this time (February), I start to get anxious about the amount of screen time my kids and I are participating in. It’s easy to tell myself stories like…
“I'm not getting them out more.”
“We should go to more museums.”
“They’re going to lose their imagination.”
There are going to be inconsiderate blobs and I’m their primary example.”
(Am I the only one who spirals that fast? lol)
Anyway...let it GO!!
Look at the things you’re doing on a full-scale view of the whole year.
Our family is outside all day, every day from June - September and even in the Spring and Fall we go days without TV time. So, it balances itself out.
Downtime activities besides a screen
Getting cozy and resting also doesn’t have to mean you are a screen time zombie who does nothing but mindlessly scroll or watch Netflix.
Take the Winter as a time to practice stillness without stimulation.
Have a list in your home of things you can do to stimulate your creativity. Sometimes the prompting is helpful.
Here’s what’s on our list:
Family Book (right now we’re reading Harry Potter)
Write a story
Remember that just sitting around is ok too. It will create conversation and spark imagination
Get Outside - Even if it’s cold!
Here in NY the weather has been very mild, so there are greater opportunities to get outside without freezing our butts off. BUT - even if you are in a colder climate, getting outside for 10 minutes to get some fresh air has profound effects.
Bundle up, grab a hot thermos of tea and sit in the Sun for 10 minutes.
Once you do, I promise it won’t feel as bad as you are likely anticipating. Then, you get to come inside and enjoy the warmth of your home even more!!
For more support with getting connected during this time of year...
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