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Seasonal Living for Modern Times

Winter rest and nourishment strategies

Brittany Mailhot

In today’s Western society, humans are expected to maintain the same level of productivity all year round and continue on with their lives despite nature, instead of allowing their cycles of life to flow with nature. But that wasn’t always the case.

What Is a Seasonal Lifestyle?

Our ancestors had no choice but to live their lives in tune with the seasons. They needed to work with the land around them, planting or gathering in the warmer months and spending the winters resting and living off what they had preserved. Nowadays, most of us have jobs that require us to work throughout the year, but living in harmony with the seasons is still possible and beneficial. 

Learning to rest more and focus on nourishment during the colder and darker months of the year isn’t complex or theoretical. Simple, easy changes can make a world of difference in your well-being while helping you cultivate true appreciation for the beautiful winter season.

How Do You Live a Seasonal Life?

Winter is a sensual season, so an easy way to stay present and grateful is to focus on appealing to your senses. As soon as the first snowflake falls, I turn my home into a cozy winter space with candles, handmade quilts and anything else that makes me feel like I’m living in a warm hug. Here are a few ways to help you start waking up your senses:

Focus on the Senses 

  • Sight. Clean your space, meditate on the snow falling, or invest in mood lighting.
  • Smell. Simmer a pot of soup on the stove, bake yummy holiday treats, or light your favorite candles.
  • Taste. Sit down with a bowl of that soup that’s been simmering, nourish yourself with bone broth, or treat yourself to a cozy warm beverage.
  • Hear. Listen to that special silence that only happens when the snow falls, jam out to your favorite tunes, or listen to a podcast.
  • Touch. Bundle up with a handmade wool sweater, wrap yourself in fuzzy blankets, or feel the cold air on your skin as you take a walk outside.

Live in Alignment With the Seasons by Eating and Drinking Seasonally

Eating seasonally inherently connects us to the land we live on and helps us become more in tune with seasonal changes. Our world is super magical and the food that’s available each season just happens to be exactly what our bodies need. Nutrient-dense spring greens become available after we’ve gone through the winter with less fresh foods and sunlight, while root vegetables, like carrots and potatoes, keep us warm and nourished and can grow in colder climates.

Beverages can bring us nourishment too. Sometimes all you need is a yummy cup of MUD\WTR (shameless plug) or tea to help you find your center. Getting to know the plants in your area can help you find nutritious tea for free all year long. My favorite go-to beverage in the wintertime is pine needle tea because, depending on your area, it's easy to find needles in the winter and they’re loaded with Vitamin C.

Cultivate a Seasonal Lifestyle by Living Slowly

Emotions can feel heavy this time of year. It’s important to look inward, understand and process how we’re feeling, and identify what you need to feel safe, nurtured, and supported during this time. Be sure to leave judgment at the door during this process and let go of feeling like you need to “fix” your emotions, sometimes all you need is to feel them.

Being intentional about resting is so important because your emotional needs often get left behind when you're busy or constantly on the move. In addition to trying not to take on too many extra projects or tasks in the winter, small actions, like drinking a cup of tea, herbal body oiling, or taking a yoga class, can go a long way in calming your nervous system and bringing you deeper into rest.

Create Intentional Community During the Winter Weather Season

The various commitments of the holiday season can lead to burnout or feelings of overwhelm, which is why it’s important to surround yourself with people who help you recharge—whether that’s in person or in virtual spaces. Intentional gathering improves our sense of well-being, grounds us, breaks up the daily grind, and can help us feel more at ease and less stressed, anxious, and depressed. The tendency for people to turn inward can also create ideal environments for deeper conversations and more meaningful connections with others.

Find a Winter-Friendly Hobby 

Winter is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby that you love. Explore the beauty of nature by getting out (safely) on some winter hikes or taking skiing lessons, bring the smell of the holidays to your kitchen by honing your baking skills, or make yourself some comfy clothing by picking up knitting or crochet. It’s not so much about learning a new skill and being productive as it is about looking forward to doing something that brings you joy each day.

Brittany is a dynamic professional passionate about creating meaningful content and spending time in the forest.

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