Connecting with Winter
I’ve looked at self-care already in December but I think it still needs more focus; I haven’t said enough on the matter yet!
Recently I’ve seen this month bring a much bigger mix of positive and negatives up for people depending on their situations and it’s tough right now on deciding how best to take action given we can’t plan; we can’t book in that much need holiday and we still can’t see the people we really want to see.
In a month of restriction, it’s really easy and sadly quite natural to reach for the negatives but this only makes us feel worse and even more deeply entrenched in low motivation, lethargy, feeling grumpy or being short-tempered. Being present can really help combat negative thinking.
I picked up a Christmas cook book (bear with me) the other day simply looking for something quick, simple and festive to brighten up the evening meal; it had been a long day, with frustrations and challenges and certainly some positives but I felt a bit out of kilter. It was a book I’d wanted for ages and friend had bought me it about 2 years ago- I remember hurriedly looking at the glossy enticing pictures but then failed to ever actually read it through since.
Anyway, with a hot drink I opened the book again and was captured, instantly- this wasn’t a regular cook book, this was ‘a how to of Christmas,’ a collection of suggested ‘do’s’ for the season and thankfully very few ‘don’ts.’ Descriptions of the changing seasons from Autumn through to Winter, interspersed with seasonal recipes for capturing this time of year. Their childhood and also adulthood recollections made it feel like I was reading a novel rather than instructions and it really captured my imagination as to the better side of Winter, something I must own up to not always fully appreciating as much as I’d like to.
I share this snapshot of one of my afternoons to highlight:
- Winter isn’t a terrible season- it’s one for contemplation, hibernation and regeneration.
- Yes, it’s often cold, rainy and sometimes snowy but we can come in from the cold, we can dry off and we can play in snow, no matter how old we get. We can follow animal footprints in the snow or leave out feed for the birds, we can bake or cook up winter warmers and celebrate the foods that are in season.
- Many celebrations happen between November and February, where we connect with light, birth and recognising what we do have; it somehow isn’t surprising that these happen in the darker months of the year now I think about it.
- Winter celebrations in particular bring together all the above and are an opportunity to give thanks, help those less fortunate, remember those we’ve lost, recognise who we do have and share our gifts (and I’m not talking materialistically here), I’m talking about our talents, hobbies and traits; sharing who we are with others is also a gift.
Take stock this Christmas, take a moment and really see, look, taste and explore. You may be surprised at what you find out there in your world… on your doorstep and in you. When you find yourself in a slump or a progressive bad mood, look out the window, go for a walk, whatever you decide, but choose to immerse yourself in the good, the positive and the nurturing if you want to break the negative cycles.
Cook book: https://www.nigelslater.com/the-christmas-chronicles_bk_39