Written by: Jenny Smith
So even though we’ve just headed through mid winter and our days are now slowly getting lighter and longer, January and February can be very difficult months of each year to navigate through with many people feeling restricted and constrained by cold, bleak weather and low energy levels.
Rather than fighting this situation and trying to make it different, an easier approach is to find ways to go with it and accept that as we are part of nature it is a natural time for us to really slow down, take stock and recharge. We all need to be positive in making the most of Winter.
Having some time outside is great and is exposes us to the available sunlight and the fresh air. Wrap up and collect berries and seeds and make a winter nature mandala in your garden. If there is snow, these look beautiful contrasting onto the bright white. Think about how the animals are finding it harder to find food at this time and make a simple bird feeder to hang outside a window to help them and for you to enjoy watching them use. Have occasional family walks especially if there is snow or frozen lakes to visits, take cocoa and lots of warm layers and stomp your way around a beautiful part of the countryside, even if it’s a bit of a hike to get there. Take photos and make them into a montage when you get home.
Create a retreat
Create a feeling of retreat in your home space. If you have enough room, make one room into a really cosy space with loads of cushions, duvets and blankets for you and your kids to have hibernation time. Put a ban on screens, maybe have some simple music playing and call it your winter dreaming room. Tell your children stories about how the Native American Indians gather at this time to plant imaginary seeds of what they hope the next year will bring, and how like in nature, all seeds of ideas need to be given time to germinate over the winter months. Let go of rigid planning, control and instead allow ideas, dreams and possibilities to have space. Have fires in the evening, where you write down your hopes and wishes and burn them ceremoniously over an open hearth.
Build up your strength
Build up your intake of Vitamin C, either with supplements or just making sure you are all getting plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Vitamin D is the vitamin that we get naturally from the sun so during winter time it’s also a good idea to increase this again through supplements or food such as fatty fish, certain mushrooms, fortified milk or some types of orange juice.
Celebrate Winters gifts – time inside together, staying warm with hot teas around fires, hearty stews and soups, jacket potatoes and home-made bread! Invest in stylish warm coats from charity shops, long thermal underwear and big scarves and hats. Indulge in the time indoors to watch a box set all together or to read favourite books. Have pyjama days once a week and learn to enjoy family hibernation time!