Christmas can be a magical time of year but it can also be busy and hectic for a lot of people. And yet, if we look at nature everything is slowing down in order to conserve energy. The trees lose their leaves and go back down in to their roots, animals hibernate so that they will have energy again in spring-time. Sometimes we try to maintain the same momentum throughout the year even though we may not have the energy for it. We end up feeling worn out physically and emotionally.
If we think of winter as a natural time of hibernation we can be a little bit kinder to ourselves. We may need to prioritise rest over pushing ourselves to get everything on our to-do list done. Listen to your body if it is showing signs of fatigue, pain, low mood or stress. Recharging our batteries now will benefit our health in the new year. Slow down where possible and create time for yourself to do things that are restorative - a yoga class, a massage, a walk in nature are a few examples. Massage therapy specifically works on the central nervous system to calm and restore the body.
We also have a natural tendency to go inward at this time of year. Self reflection as the year comes to a close gives us the opportunity to check in with ourselves on how we are doing in all the different areas of our lives. Have a notebook at hand and jot down ideas and thoughts that come in to your head. Getting our thoughts down on paper can be a great way to clear our busy heads. Meditation works for a lot of people but for others the idea of sitting in quietness doesn't appeal! Keep in mind that movement can also be meditative. Being present in any activity you are doing is a form of meditation.
The amount of sunlight we are exposed to is very little at this time of year. As we know, we need sun on our skin to make vitamin D - a vital nutrient for our bone health and immune system. A lack of vitamin D has also been linked with depression. Our skin needs to be exposed to direct sunlight for around 10 minutes per day in order to make Vitamin D. Our bodies can store vitamin D for a short period of time, so the fact that we had a great summer is beneficial, but remember that the use of sunscreen blocks our bodies ability to make vitamin D. Supplementing Vitamin D is easy and supplements in the form of sprays or tablets can be bought at health shops or pharmacies.
Take time for yourself at this time of year and focus on what restores you. At the end of a busy year it is important to touch in with how you are feeling physically and emotionally. The new year will bring more challenges and experiences so taking care of recharging and restoring ourselves during the winter months will support our health and wellbeing in 2019.
Sarah Forristal www.vitalise.ie
Solace Holistic Centre Blog
Supporting Healing from Within