Holy moly northern hemisphere!
It sounds like y’all are getting a winter to remember up there. So rather than wax lyrical about New Years plans or thinking positive, I’m just gonna throw you a bone…
As you probably know by now, the weather has a HUGE impact on the way we feel, act, and process the things that life throws at us day to day. So of course it follows that the weather also has a significant impact on our ability to maintain balance.
Extremes of cold and heat can plant the seeds for all kinds of physical, mental, and emotional challenges, but with a little awareness and some help from Ayurveda, balance (during any time of the year) is pretty much a no-brainer!
So how about a few tips for sub-zero mind body balance:
- Stay warm but not hot – Pretty obvious I know but it’s definitely worth reminding you to do whatever it takes to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Heating, clothing, blankets, canoodling, or whatever floats your boat (and keeps it warm).
- Oil yourself up – Do this now… grab some sesame oil (not the toasted kind) put it in a little bottle and put it in the shower. Just before you finish your shower rub yourself down head to toe with the oil (think nice thoughts while you’re doing it). Lightly rinse yourself making sure to leave a light layer of oil on the body. Step out of the shower… without the usual cold shock (yay)! Go about the rest of your day happy (and healthy!).
- Eat warm and cozy – Ditch the cold drinks and smoothies for a minute. Choose foods that are warm, spiced (cinnamon, ginger, pepper, garlic, cumin, mustard, basil – not all at once), and grounding (root veggies, stir-fried greens, fermented stuff – pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, soups and stews).
- Drink warm things – Now is the time to really dive into some luscious teas. Have warm drinks throughout the day. Go for spice infusions (I’ll give you one at the end) or herbal teas rather black tea or coffee. That way you’ll stay hydrated as well as warm and calm. And if you’re drinking water…no ice!
- Notice how you feel – Since winter is different everywhere Winter can make you feel heavy and or depleted. Feeling heavy? Lighten up the diet (think steamed rather than fried, cut back the heavy stuff like dairy and sugars) scale back the portion sizes, turn up the spices (especially your chili and peppers) – this is also good if you feel a cold coming on. Feeling depleted(or dry)? – stick with the grounding foods, add some oils (inside and out), stay hydrated.
Having a snow day?
Isn’t it crazy how a little change to your routine (like having your whole day called off at the last minute) can throw you into a bit of a tailspin? Not to worry.
First of all… chill (pun intended). Next consider the day a gift (no matter how it might seem) and then think about what you can do to make your day fun, productive, relaxed, joyful or whatever feeling or emotion you really need more of in your life (see, told you it’s a gift).
Make a plan (what do you need to do, or not do). Share your plan (let family, co-workers or whoever know what you’re doing so that they can join, support, or leave you to it – this lovely little step is key and will help you side-step any stress or guilt).
Finally…just enjoy the day!
Remember you can’t stop the snow and it can’t stop you!
And of course I’m not forgetting about you (I mean us) summer folks (yeah it’s heating up a bit down here)… Stay tuned for your keys to beating the heat (and everything it brings) in the weeks ahead!
And while you’re waiting… I’d love to hear how you’re spending your summer/winter! Let me know in the comments below. And if you have any secrets for braving the cold (or heat) do tell!
Winter Time Tea
4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/8″ slice of fresh ginger
2-3 whole cloves
Boil spices in water for 3-5mins – strain and drink (if you’d like to add honey wait till the tea is about room temp)