Does anyone else feel trapped in a cycle of holiday health concerns? Like clockwork, the rain begins to fall, the skies turn perma-grey, jacket hoods are drawn and cinched, and eyes fall to the floor as we watch our boots rush from one indoor location to the next. Bouncing from gathering to gathering, we often find ourselves more connected to the relationships we already have and simultaneously disconnected from opportunities to create and cultivate new relationships with others and ourselves (the Seattle freeze is almost certainly correlated to winter cold).
While rain is a seasonal certainty in the Pacific Northwest, that does not mean that we always have healthy adaptations to the season’s changes at the ready. Even the strongest women in this world find themselves sluggish with holiday exercise habits and deficient of sunshine time. Layer in an abundance of baked goods, savory-smelling kitchens, and family gatherings predicated on what’s for dinner, and it’s enough to throw anyone’s physical and energetic balance for a loop.
What we Wilderwomen have discovered is that fall-leading-into-winter-holidays is an optimal time to check in on what fills up your cup AND where you hope to pour into other people and experiences. Here are a few questions to consider as you check in with your energetic balance. We encourage you to journal your answers and reflect back during the holiday season to plan for energetic success!
What were the strengths of your spring and summer? While each season in the PNW has something different to offer, each season can also offer wisdom as to what leaves you fulfilled and where you can balance your efforts. Consider your strongest memory or memories from the summer. How did you feel? What or who stands out the most? What about the experience left a lasting impression? Take the characteristics of your fondest fair-weather memories and seek opportunities to generate those sensations in the winter months.
Which winter habits do not work for you? Why get stuck in a seasonal cycle…again? While some psychological disorders call for and are best served by professional attention, we believe that our intuition is strong and able to root out the behavioral choices that set us up for failure (or success!). Are you a bored eater in front of the television? Not a problem; instead, find something to do with your hands like a craft project! Put things in place that, when you inevitably start spending more time indoors, are at the ready to build a new habit or skill.
What opportunities are you seeking? The winter marks a very literal turn to the indoors, so why not also turn inward into self? The summer months are an aggressive call to social outdoor activities and require an energetic balance by turning attention to self and personal development. We love looking at this season as a reason for self-care, growth, and love. Take a look or create a list of things that you have always wanted to do, try, or learn, and seek them out. Our best advice? Layer in one thing at a time to let the newness settle into your life to keep you grounded.
Where can you eliminate or minimize threats to your happiness? This may come in the form of people, places, or things during the holiday season. Take note of what makes you happy and hold firm to the time and space you want it to occupy. On the flip side, also note what steals joy or happiness from your experience and eliminate or put boundaries around how much space you let it have in your experiences.
Here is to happier and healthier holidays for all of our #Wilderwomen babes! We welcome your thoughts, comments, and insights below.