Feeling the Urge to Hunker Down? Here's Why!
As temperatures grow colder and daylight hours lessen, we may feel more resistance to all the activities crammed onto our schedules. Haven't we all made exciting plans for some social event in the evening, and then when the time comes to get ready we discover that we'd much rather cozy into our sweats? There's a very real reason for this feeling, and it all stems back to our primal instincts!
As much as we love to fool ourselves into believing we're far superior to those wild animals living outside our four walls, we are still mammals! Observe the other mammals and how they prepare for the winter. They store up food (either in their bodies or hidden nearby), prepare the coziest of snuggle spaces to stay warm, and slow their activity which preserves their precious energy.
We are not designed to withstand winter conditions and maintain the exact same level of productivity as summer months. Our lives are not a factory machine set on max speed. We ebb and flow with the seasons and moon cycles for we, too, are nature. While full hibernation is likely not a practical option, we can still honor the experience of winter without overextending ourselves. Winter is season of self-reflection... to explore what is and isn't working in our lives. If our days are always go-go to the fullest, we never allow ourselves that necessary time to feel our emotions fully and heal what arises.
If fall reminds us to let go and release what no longer serves us, and spring is a time for rebirth and new life... winter is the season to nurture and gently prepare ourselves for what is to come while remaining present with what is.
Ah... present with what is. This is often the part that we like to glaze over because acknowledging what is true within us can feel downright uncomfortable. If we hunker down we may recognize our loneliness. If we don't cram our schedule full of social events we may feel grief arise. If we allow ourselves to be still, we might feel.
Another obvious sign for needing to shift into a respect for winter is the widespread season of illness. We refer to it as flu season... yet we are bombarded with sickness of all types and anyone with kiddos can tell you, we're already off to a rough start this year. This is not by accident. Our immune systems are weaker, yet we continue to gather in large groups to celebrate holidays and other events. We're spending less time outdoors and not airing out our stagnant spaces with open windows and doors.
The actual temperature of the cold air impacts our immune response as well, right at the point of our first defense. In fact, lowering the temperature inside the nose even by only 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) kills nearly 50% of the billions of virus and bacteria-fighting cells in the nostrils, according to the recently-published study found in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Now I'm not trying to frighten you indoors with the talk of illness... you're receiving enough of that fear spewed through every news source and media outlet. What I am inviting you do to is to honor the season, and this season within your own life. Here are seven ideas of how to do so:
Cozy in, light a fire (or some candles), and have an evening of writing thank yous or holiday greetings to loved ones you cherish.
Journal what emotions you're feeling rising as you've read this and explore what this season holds in terms of healing and self-exploration.
Cook up warm rooted vegetables, or soup on the stove and take your time truly enjoying the process from first ingredient to last bite.
Practice a new mindfulness habit, such as beginning those cold mornings with the warmth of yoga and gentle stretching or reading that inspirational book for 15 minutes at the end of every day.
Learn the basics of chakra healing, discover your empath archetype, and more by exploring the Heal & Rise Library
Snuggle up in jammies, warm up some hot tea and cocoa, and drive around looking at holiday lights singing your favorite tunes of the season.
Meditate with gratitude upon your life thus far, and open your mind to receive clarity as to the direction of your current path.
Love & Healing,