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Winter thriving - not just surviving

A dog is snuggling up under cosy blankets with just his nose poking out

Self-care prompts to help you create inner warmth and comfort as we move into spring

As I’m writing this, the sun is shining brightly and I can feel that spring is on its way. We’re not quite there yet though.

As winter starts to make way for the warmer, lighter months, many of us feel like we’ve burrowed down. We might be doing less and feeling slower. We might notice that life looks and feels very different to how it does later in the year.

For some, it’s a welcome opportunity to take it easy but for others, these colder months can feel like a struggle and can greatly affect our emotional and physical wellbeing.

I was reminded of this quote from Katherine May's wonderful book: Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

“When I started feeling the drag of winter, I began to treat myself like a favoured child: with kindness and love. I assumed my needs were reasonable and that my feelings were signals of something important.
I kept myself well fed and made sure I was getting enough sleep. I took myself for walks in the fresh air and spent time doing things that soothed me. I asked myself: What is this winter all about? I asked myself: What change is coming?” 

So how have the winter months been affecting you and how can you start to move into the change of spring?

Here are some prompts to help you check in and reflect:

What’s the weather like inside?

It might be colder and darker outside, but how are you feeling on the inside? Take a moment to notice any emotional shifts you may be experiencing at this time of year.

Are you feeling more inwards-looking and lower in energy, or are you feeling surprisingly uplifted? See if you can observe these changes without judging them as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Can you take what you notice and let it help you make a plan to do more - or less - of something this month?

Am I finding a balance between rest and activity?

Winter often calls for a slower pace. Do you feel like you’ve got the balance you need? Do you feel like you’re honouring your body’s need for rest or are you pushing on regardless? Are you making room for activities that energise you and bring you joy, as well as the things you have to do?

If not, what could you put in place today to help you feel more of that balance?

How am I creating inner warmth and comfort?

In the absence of sunshine and warmth outside, it’s important to cultivate a sense of inner warmth and comfort. What routines or habits help you feel internally cosy, safe and secure?

Do you need to watch a favourite film, plan some nourishing, comforting meals or call someone you care about? Are you making time to take look after yourself in this way?

Am I staying connected with others?

The cold and isolation of winter can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness. Think about the connections you have with family, friends and your community.

What could you do to nurture these relationships, despite any physical or environmental barriers? Even the smallest action can help you feel connected.

Remember that we’re just passing through this season, like all the others. It can be a difficult time for many but by checking in and asking ourselves these questions, we can better understand our needs, find a way through the challenges and embrace some of the opportunities that winter presents.

Nurturing yourself during these colder months is not just about surviving the season but seeing if we can also begin to thrive within it.

If you need some support to help you navigate your way through the winter months and set a strong foundation for the rest of the year, let’s talk about it. You can book an appointment here.

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