Winter Time is HERE!
What does Chinese Medicine say about how to stay in balance during winter time? In San Diego, this time can be a little muted because our weather is not as forceful a reminder, encouraging a natural solitude and slower pace as we huddle indoors. And yet, you may feel more lulled to bed at an earlier hour despite our year-long sunshine. This is because it is the natural rhythm of humans to find more time inwards and to consolidate the energy of the year.
Winter is represented by the element of water and is the most yin of the seasons in nature: outward signs of life disappear, and in most places the landscape is covered with snow. The work of the season is still happening but is less apparent or internal. This is a time to rest, reflect, preserve and store what we have cultivated throughout the year. It is the concentrated, internal force of winter that enables a seed to burst forth in spring growth.
When we rest during this season, we give rise to more abundance, courage and willpower for the way we wish to show up in the world throughout the upcoming year. Not letting ourselves restore during this time can unsettle the spirit and leave us – in a known or unknown way – feeling like we lack the resources and drive to complete what we’ve envisioned. We may develop irrational or rational fears of being inadequately prepared for what we might have to face ahead.
The water element represents the kidney and urinary bladder organs. The acupuncture points along these organ meridians (pathways of energy) that can be used to fill the reserves and re-awaken that place in us that knows where our real strength, courage, and wisdom lie. One such point is Kidney 25, named Spirit Storehouse and does much of what its name implies: giving us clarity, fulfillment, and renewed energy in the face of disappointment, disillusionment, or drain.
How to live in harmony with the winter season:
- Sleep and rest more
This is nature’s season for rest, repair, and regeneration—this is important so you can burst ahead with life in Spring.
- Set goals, reflect, and internalize.
Use this yin time to become introspective: journal, meditate, pick up a new book that gives you inspiration, do yoga, start a dream journal.
- Eat “warming” foods.
As the weather cools and the body needs to generate more warmth, include more cooked foods and complex carbohydrates in your meals. Try dishes made with root vegetables, millet, cinnamon, soups, garlic, and lamb.
- Be with those you love
Winter evenings are the best for campfires and hot cocoa. Use this time to deepen relationships with those you love in a stress-free relaxed way.