Are you feeling more emotional? It is normal; winters are like that, a more inward and sensitive time. It is a good time to go deep inward, practicing extra self-care, seeking replenishment, resting, reflecting.
According to the Chinese Five Element system, the winter is related to the element water. The bladder and kidneys are the organs associated with the water element and winter season.
When kidney energy is strong we are lucid and able to easily articulate our thoughts and feelings. We will also have willpower and live life with focus and direction. When kidney energy is weak we are susceptible to fear and anxiety. Symptoms of kidney deficiency are sore lower back and knees, frequent urination, prematurely graying hair, weak, brittle bones, arthritis and dental cavities.
To keep the kidneys healthy, you should keep them warm and well hydrated. However, avoid ice water, which can be too cooling. Consume lukewarm water and hot herbal teas.
During winter we need special care in a form of nutrition, warmth, and rest.
Some of my favorite winter routines to stay healthy
- Take a break from the news, spend time reading a book instead.
- Have a regular bedtime routine. For example, take a bath before you go to bed. Go to bed early and sleep late. Pay attention to your dreams.
- Don’t use electronics in your bedroom.
- Meditate or quietly drink your morning tea before you turn on your cell phone.
- Exercise or do some physical activity. It is best to practice more indoor activities like yoga, tai chi, and breathing exercises. But also take some winter walks in nature.
- Take vitamin D3 and Cod Liver oil Supplements.
- Drink bone broth daily. (Simple Beef Bone Recipe).
- Eat warming foods; hearty soups, whole grains, roasted nuts, good quality fats like Ghee, grass fed animal products, and pasture raised eggs.
- Hydrate your body! Make sure you start your day with an herbal tea or warm water with lemon juice. Drink water throughout the day even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Finish your creative projects you put aside during the busy summer months; sawing projects, tincture making, playing music or spoon carving. Find better activities than watching movies or television every night!
- Consider a meditation or breathing practice. As an old Zen saying states: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy then you should sit for an hour”
“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”
– William Blake