Why You Should Take Time Off During the Winter Season.
The end of 2019 brought with it a personal reprieve. December became my early winter break from the daily grind. No more writing and being creative. I simply lay like a couch potato. Smothered in blankets, dormant under the soil of my own personal earth, I relaxed and dreamt of harvesting new personal growth in 2020.
Instead of compiling list after list of chores, errands, things to do and the inexhaustible mind chatter that accompanies such things, I took time off. No more emails! No more responsibilities! Long stretches to relax and binge watch “Criminal Minds”!
Taking time off in winter is crucial for your health.
In the United States, more people are prone to flu like illnesses in winter, with flu activity peaks between December and February. The answer as to why flu is a winter disease is not fully known. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the flu virus is spread largely by droplet (fine mist) infection. If we think about it, winter is the time of year when more mist and fog reigns supreme in our weather patterns. Equally interesting, according to Scientific American, flu occurs throughout the year in equatorial countries, but is highest in the monsoon or rainy season.
If we look to the natural biorhythms of nature, winter is the time of hibernation, of dormant energy. Bears go indoors. Plants become dormant to conserve energy. Water hardens into ice. Winter celebrates the longest hours of darkness and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.
Therefore, in order to stay healthy in the winter season, wash your hands (both literally and metaphorically) of all the busy stuff to do, and take a break.
Winter is the best time to practice sincere self care.
Winter may be the reason the Danish practice Hygge, a self-care ideology that really comes alive in the harsh and bracing cold season Scandinavia is renowned for and why Denmark clocks in as the world’s happiest country, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report. Take an admixture of feel good ingredients such as relaxation, indulgence, presence, and comfort while spending quality time with yourself or others and you’ll find yourself in hygge.
Right now, during winter, take time off and get hygge with it. Light at least a dozen scent free candles and lounge around in your oldest pair of jammies and a warm pair of wool socks. Get your cat, your journal, and a foaming glass of hot chocolate and settle in.
Winter is nature’s way to release the past.
“What is meant to die, will die. What is meant to live will sprout again.”
Winter is the perfect time to release all the worn out annual energies that played through your body. Take notice for a minute, all the energies you participated with and lived around this last year. The opportunities that came and went, the challenges, the growth, or maybe areas where you felt emotional and maybe, not so lucky. Allow the stagnant energies of the past to move through your physical body and make space for the new energies that will soon enter.
Winter is the time to integrate and release all of the energies of the past and this particular winter it is even more important. We not only closed out a year, but we also closed out a decade. How many events in the past ten years are energetically ready to leave your body, like calloused old skin ready to be shed? Winter is here as a gift from the universe, to allow you to slow down and take time off.
It is in the slowing down and that you find yourself. You find the happiness and the permission to be as you are. Lay like a potato. Become one with the couch. Do absolutely nothing for a day. Your body and spirit will thank you.