Part 1: Teaching yourself to fall out of your routine, and listen more to your body and what it needs
“The most important thing in winter is to be internal–to take this as an opportunity to turn inward, because the whole world is doing it,” he said. “ It gives you a chance to rest your extroversion and your senses and go into your heart and look deeply during the time you spend in solitude or silence or while communing with others who are in an internal mode. But it has to be balanced out, because wintertime depression can creep up on someone who becomes too isolated and internalized.”’ [Scott Blossom]
There is something always about this time of year that gets to me. I’m not sure if it’s the end of the crazy holidays, the fear of turning another year, or the cold weather that promotes my unease. Probably a little bit of it all. I frequently feel a bit off balance and off the last two weeks of January. I remember last year what i was going through and acknowledge my incredible growth since then. But I still feel a little fog in my mind, stones heavy in my stomach, and sense that something is just aloof from keeping me from being and feeling like my happy healthy self.
I’ve been doing some researching and reflecting. While quite a lot of emotional things came to mind, here are some ways to keep yourself more balanced during the winter and this time of year. During the winter I naturally become very closed off. I’m okay with staying home, with curling up in my PJs or with my blanket, and I’m totally fine avoiding the cold. I enjoy snuggling up with a book or sleeping in or staying in bed into the late hours of the morning. When I’m usually up with the sun, ready to get my day going, winter time and the colder weather gives me permission and incentive to just relax. I use to be so fixed on getting up, making sure I squeeze everything into my day, and maximized all time I had. Especially when I started working full time, I noticed myself forcing myself to get up early to workout or do yoga, then working all day and making my nights busy with dinner, or whatever I had going on. I never rested. I’d come home, be tired, do the normal chores, and then go to sleep only to wake up and do it again. I never listened to my body or adjusted and I was never able to develop a routine that served me. I was so fixated on, I have to workout, to go to happy hour, to work late, to get to yoga, whatever it is, you name it… it all takes time and I use to feel so incomplete when I just woke up went to work and came home. As a society and US culture, we are always on the go. We are taught that we need to achieve so much and be so busy, and so often we make our schedules so crazy that we forget to come back to ourselves and what we really need.
Routines are great, and very important to keep yourself balanced. However, routines need to be shifted and changed with whatever you are going through, and to match what the universe and nature is going through. In other words, we get so stuck in our ways that we start to do everything the same everyday, every week, every month, every year. We forget that change is part of every process. It’s part of nature’s evolution and our own. And how silly would it be if we kept our daily routine and structure the same, without adapting to the changes? We get so fixated on routine, what we think we need for ourselves, and our routine that once started as a way to fuel us turns into autopilot and a habit. For example, coffee. You dont need coffee every day to wake you up. You have so much energy within yourself to naturally wake you up. If you’re depleted, drained, can barely wake up, maybe you should check in with yourself, what you are doing in your life, and how you can calm down and rest more? I do love coffee, I do drink it on occasion. However, it is not a necessity. Nothing in my life really is…( well maybe yoga and some greens). I dont drink it to wake me up or fuel me. I drink it because it taste good and sometimes my energy is running low so I treat myself. It’s not a habit, not a pattern, and not something I have to have. It use to be, but not anymore. I’ve tapped into how to create my own energy and how to enjoy life without stimulus, and I’ve learned how to readopt my lifestyle to better serve me.
So if you’re feeling stuck, unhappy, maybe like you’re going to catch the flu that’s going around, check in first. What is dragging you down? What actions are you taking to move forward? What routine do you have that may be too much for now? Have you been indulging too much over the holidays and now its all catching up to you? Maybe it’s time to detox the mind and the body? Have you set goals and new year resolutions and maybe not been as dedicated?
It’s almost the end of January, almost a new month, February… almost a new season as we close of winter. So what have you been holding onto or holding in? And where have you exhausted yourself. Have you been avoiding your own wishes and avoiding your own feelings? Winter is a time to ground down. To establish a foundation to move forward into the new year. It’s a time to reflect on yourself, where you’ve been, and where you’re going…. No longer do we hide, set in our ways, attached to our routines that we thing serve us well. Instead check in, get sleep, rest, restore, and then decide what you really need. New year, stop doing your old patterns, saying your old excuses, your old stories, and stop doing and thinking things that you don’t need. It doesn’t matter. You are building your foundation. You are balancing yourself. You are allowed to hibernate. You are able to relax, restore, and ease yourself… re energize, recharge because once winter is over things just spring ahead…