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January 12, 2022 4 min read

Wise strives to explore all aspects of self care, from skin and hair to mental health and lifestyle choices. We believe in the timeless wisdom of living in tune with the seasons and nature's cycles, an we'd love you to embrace a renewed perspective of your relationship with winter, just in time for your New Year’s resolutions.

One thing is undeniable: winter doesn’t get the world's consensus when it comes to its beauty, and people usually don’t grasp how to fully enjoy this bittersweet season. Perhaps we may not know how to optimally harvest the amazing fruits that winter has to offer and avoid the risks of getting stung by its thorns. Sometimes, we have to comb through ancient wisdom and modern science to curate a lifestyle in harmony with this yin season, from Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), modern medicine to clinical psychology. Finding balance in these cold months by accepting the cold and counter balancing with some fire is the key to thrive in this season, rather than just survive. 

 

 

With the aim of ‘’making peace’’ with this particular love-hate relationship, it is essential to humbly try to understand the forces roaming around the season and how to work in teams with these energies. According to TCM, winter is tied to a specific thread of emotions, elements, organs, and mindset to sustain and take into consideration when putting together the perfect winter routine. Winter falls on the Yin side of the Yin and Yang force system, which symbolizes darkness, the slow and inward energy. The organ of the Kidney is prevalent in this case, being the root source organ of our body’s basic and fundamental power. Therefore, focusing on deeper introspection and being careful to channel this sacred spark in less directions will properly sync you up to your bodily needs of the moment. TCM prescribes for this matter to indulge in more self-reflecting and soul-nourishing activities such as meditation, journaling or reading. The element of Water is the one ruling the whole thread of energy for wintertime. The saying of “going with the flow” is the main theme to follow along with, meaning to keep a more passive mindset and find a balanced internal flowing state. Make peace with the most difficult internal battles, accept what is out of control and surrender to an intuitive optimism that everything will fall into place in one way or another. You don’t need to find all the answers, but instead learn so to sit in peace, even when there's a little chaos. All of this takes a lot of courage to achieve indeed, which is why Fear is the main emotion connecting to the rest of the seasonal thread.

 

 

Well-being is of course not solely about maintaining the right mindset, but treating your journey accordingly through an empirical lense. In doing so, adapting your diet to the current season, as well as your exercising routines and the way you structure your daily schedules should be revised with as much care. To start, focus on a diet rich in water (referring to the Water element ruling the wintertime) and nutrients, dark color foods that are in season, and counterbalance the cold weather with warm and cooked meals. Roots foods such as carrots, turnip, sweet potatoes, squash, beets, garlic, ginger, etc are the star ingredients here. Keep up the same mentality of hydration and richness in nutrients with your skin regimen (easily achievable with the help of our Chaga Face Cream.)  Following up with the sun’s daily schedule leading to shorter days makes it better to rise later and go to sleep earlier. Although exercising is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, it is best to adapt your exercise routine to the type of energies listed previously. Good workout alternatives suited for winter can be stretching, yoga, tai chi, qi gong and other slower pace activities to save the most energy for inner spiritual workouts. But as the Yin unconditionally accompanies the Yang to maintain a rudimentary life equilibrium, it is essential to incorporate some more intense activities and break a sweat every now and then (e.g. bodybuilding, cardio exercises and/or sauna sessions) to counterbalance the predominating Yin/Water element with a little sprinkle of Yang/Fire. Finally, resting a lot more than usual is essential, by going to bed earlier and waking up later. 

 


New Year comes with a duality feeling of guilt and willingness to change, which is a beautiful facet of human complexity. But with all excess of good things comes wellness issues. Make choices out of love, eliminate resistance to the flow of your life, and instead of setting a ton of huge goals, focus on smaller daily habits and wins. The benefits of these wellness habits will truly be integrated when done bit by bit, and through acceptance of where and who you are right now. Start here, start with love, and take one step at a time. 




Sources:


https://balancecharleston.com/blog/2019/12/13/winter-and-the-water-element-a-chinese-medical-perspective-to-seasonal-wellbeing-sg4r5


https://www.abalancedbody.ca/blog/2021/2/7/balancing-your-body-in-the-winter-with-holistic-nutrition-and-traditional-chinese-medicine


https://mendacupuncture.com/what-chinese-medicine-has-to-say-about-winter/


https://drsamantha.com/chinese-medicine-winter/


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