Here we are, once again, at the axis between the shortest day of the year and the slow return to longer, more light-filled days.
I didn't always give much thought to this darkest day of the year. I used to just see it as the official harbinger of cold weather, but in recent years I've come to embrace it as so much more. I've learned that we can take a cue from the trees and plants around us that have sent their energy deep into the ground so they can prepare for the growth spurts of spring.
This is the time to slow down and settle into your own depths.
The literal translation of Solstice from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) perfectly encapsulates one of the major themes of winter: stillness.
In Chinese Medicine winter is the season of the kidneys (akin to the adrenals of Western physiology), regeneration, and the emotion of fear. It's the time to nourish yourself through food, connection, and relaxation. It's also a good time to contemplate. What things have either flourished or ended for you this year: lives, relationships, habits, projects? Solstice is a powerful time to intentionally bring a close to the not-so-productive elements of your life while simultaneously ushering in new, positive intentions. I've become partial to writing a list of all these things and then burning it. Fire is a powerful catalyst.
Winter can often challenge your sense of wellbeing with things like sluggish digestion, low energy levels, perpetually cold hands and feet, or depression. I've found that Chinese Medicine's seasonal approach to wellness offers a plethora of tips on how to live in harmony with winter.
It's important to honour the energy of slowing down. Regeneration can't happen without periods of rest. It's also important to incorporate gentle ways to stimulate the body through food, environment, and activity.
You don't want stagnation to settle in.
Adding warming, aromatic spices to you daily routine is one of the primary ways to do this in the traditions of Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine. They can be added to your food and drinks (think chai tea!), or in the form of something like the Warming Winter Bitters in my Winter Essentials Wellness Kit.
The kit is a season-specific bundle of products created to honour and support your body, spirit, and environment during the winter months. Check it out if you're interested in inviting a little botanical winter love into your life.
Or, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the kit or navigating the winter season. I love answering questions about how botanicals can bring balance and beauty into your life!
Wishing you a happy solstice and an abundance of winter wellness!