These days, you may feel more like pulling the covers over your head and hitting the snooze button than heading to the office or facing that to–do list one more time.
That’s because we are in the firm grasp of winter. Now, in California, where the sun is shining most of the time, this can be a little less obvious! But there is still an impact. The heavy, dark stillness of winter can often stimulate a slow sinking down into ourselves.
There may be a tendency toward depression and introversion this time of year. We may find ourselves wanting to spend more time indoors being cozy and intimate, rather than going out to play and party. We may feel more fatigue, apathy, or resistance. We may experience more negative thoughts or edgy feelings. And we often just want to check out or be left alone.
Even as I write this, I feel the sleepy downward pull of winter, a longing for rest and respite from my daily life. When I feel this heaviness, I make self-care (taking a bath, reading a book, practicing gentle yoga) a priority.
One of the benefits of this wintery time is that we can connect more deeply to ourselves. Our inner world is more accessible—especially while the sun is in Pisces, as it is now. This is a great time for reflection, curiosity, and for paying attention to our thoughts and feelings. It is also a wonderful time for taking care of our bodies through nourishing foods, movement—although not too vigorous—deep sleep, and massage. Winter demands solitude and quiet time. It requires rest and self-care. If these aren’t already a part of your regular routine, this can be a good time to add them. This is also a great time to be dreamy—to let our imagination wander to new places, which will be the seeds of inspiration for what we create during the active energy of spring.
The deeply restorative journey of winter prepares us for the vibrant dynamism of spring. In mid-March, we shift into an Aries sun and a new season of activity. In winter, we can go into overwhelm easily, but in spring we have the vigor and focus to go after what we want. Spring is about growth and new beginnings. It is the time of big, bursting energy and enthusiasm.
In spring, we start new projects and routines, we are inspired to blossom in new ways, and we take off running—fast. The rest and renewal of winter is vital to providing us the foundation and energy for the bright, abundant, energetic springtime. This is good to keep in mind when you are begrudging the low energy and isolation of winter. And truly, when we work with the season instead of against it, we have a much better experience!
The good news is that we already hit the deepest part of winter in February, so we are actually on the upswing now. It is still important to keep things simple, to rest and nourish ourselves. But we can also start to refresh our space (both inner and outer) by letting go of the detritus that creates heaviness and stagnancy in our lives.
This is a good time to clean house, not in the whirlwind style of spring cleaning, but in the thoughtful and considered manner of winter. Ask yourself: What matters to you now? What feels good and supportive, and what does not? What can you let go of or give away?
Our actions come from a deeper place in winter, from a more intimate relationship
with our inner lives and a more finely tuned sense of intuition and visceral knowing.
In winter, we long for more space—in our homes, our schedules, our minds. The
spaciousness that we create now will set the stage for the activity of spring and
create opportunity for new things to arrive.
Vanessa Metcalf (MA, CPCC) has a private transformational coaching practice in Santa Rosa. Using her skills of intuitive counseling and connected listening, she guides people through the transitions in their lives (both big and small) with love, depth, and humor. She also enjoys teaching personal development skills, awareness practices, and the intuitive arts to local groups. Mostly she loves to connect with people and have genuine, inspiring conversations that leave everyone feeling acknowledged and uplifted…and excited to make their own unique splash in the world.
This transition from winter to spring is when we let our old self fall away. Time to be kind to yourself, rest when you are tired, and cultivate a gentle mindfulness that will allow you to get the most out of this season.