Slowing Down in the Holiday Season: Embracing the Practice of Wintering
The holiday season often feels like a flurry of activities and commitments, leaving little time to truly appreciate the magic and significance of this special time. This year, let's make a deliberate effort to slow down and embrace the practice of wintering that comes with this festive season. Here are intentional ways to incorporate gentle activities, moments of gratitude, and a touch of enchantment into your holiday experience.
Embracing Gentle Activities
- Cozy Reading: Find a comfortable spot with a warm blanket and your favorite beverage. Dive into a book that allows you to relax. Flip through design pages for New Year aesthetics, bookmark hearty recipes to try, and choose some light-hearted fiction for evening reads with twinkle lights.
- Nature Walks: Take leisurely walks in nature, even if it's just around your neighborhood. Breathe in the crisp air, admire the beauty of trees in their winter state, and let the stillness of the surroundings calm your mind. If you can fit in two walks a day, make one of them to see all the holiday decorations with friends or family and bring cocoa or tea with you.
- Crafting: Engage in simple and hands-on crafts to bring you back to quality time with loved ones. These activities can be meditative and give you a sense of accomplishment and connection when done with company. From simmer pots, festive cocktails, and dried orange garlands to wax paper snowflakes and hand-painted tapers, there is something for every skill level to enjoy this season.
- Mindful Movement: Explore gentle movement practices like yoga, dance, or stretching. Connect with your body, focus on your breath, and cultivate a new relationship with time. Use two to three-minute songs to encourage this gentle movement. Getting out of your head and into your body doesn't have to be complicated or strict. The more fun you can incorporate into this practice, the more it will support you throughout the winter season.
- Journaling: Set aside a few moments each day to reflect on your thoughts and emotions. Write down things you are grateful for, moments of joy, and any insights that arise during your reflections. This is a supportive practice for both the highs and lows of life. Marking pages to revisit in the coming year will help you identify patterns in your mood, habits, and provide insights for your future self.
Moments to Appreciate
- Winter Sunrises: The sunlight feels sacred and privileged during this time of year. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee while watching the sunrise. Bundle up and take your journal outside to cherish the precious moments before the day begins. Practice deep breathing and connect with the warmth of the sun on your face. If the sun is not visible, imagine each sip of coffee infused with the morning glow and let it warm you from within.
- Starry Nights: Bundle up and step outside on a clear night to gaze at the stars. Let the twinkling lights bring you joy in the early hours of darkness. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the phases of the moon and track what each phase means for you.
- Candlelit Evenings: Embrace the darkness by creating a cozy atmosphere with candlelight. Dim the lights, light scented candles, and enjoy the soothing ambiance that promotes relaxation and connection. Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood of a space, so whenever possible, replace artificial light sources with candlelight or twinkling lights from your tree.
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Creating Enchantment in the Darkness
- Create a Winter Wonderland: Transform your living space and bedrooms into a magical Winter Wonderland by adorning them with twinkling fairy lights, cozy blankets, and festive ornaments. Embrace the beauty of winter and create cozy corners throughout your home, offering safe and peaceful places to curl up.
- Warm Gatherings: Host intimate gatherings with your loved ones, sharing stories, laughter, and delicious meals. These gatherings will create cherished memories that fill your home with warmth on the coldest nights. Make every meal an opportunity to gather around the table this season and foster connections with everyone.
- Savor Seasonal Delights: Dig in to the abundance of seasonal vegetables and dishes that nourish and fortify us during winter. Explore hearty stews, roasted root vegetables, and warming soups that provide comfort and essential nutrients to support our well-being in the colder months. With soup season underway and festive holiday treats making their way into our hands and homes, allow yourself to mindfully savor every bite. There is magic in sharing recipes and traditions with loved ones, or even making your own.
The holiday season is not about rushing from one activity to another, but about savoring the present moment and finding joy in the simple things. Embrace the darkness, slow down, and create moments of magic that will make this holiday season truly special.