Come before Winter
How to Prepare for a Beautiful Season
As a part 2 of our last blog article, we thought we’d share some tips about not just enduring the colder months, but embracing them. Soon the sun will be difficult to find, snow will begin to fall, and a bleak time of year will tuck itself into our daily rhythms. What can we do to make it more beautiful?
Wardrobe and Rest
Pull out the long johns, plaids, flannel shirts, and sheets. Buy yourself a new woolen sweater and some soft, fuzzy socks. Add an extra cozy blanket to your bed. Winter clothes may not feel as wild and free as tanktops, but they carry their own novelty. Enjoy the feeling of being wrapped up, sitting by a toasty fire with something warm to drink between your hands. When storm warnings are issued, let excitement fill you. Plan the movies you’re going to watch and the crafts you will do. Let the season write you a permission slip to sit, reflect, play, and sabbath.
The beauty of winter is defined, in large part, by what’s on the stove. It isn’t just what wraps us up that keeps us warm – it’s also what we feed our bodies. Consider foods high in vitamin D as a way to revive you – mind, body, and soul – from winter’s chill. With a reduced amount of sunlight in our lives during the blistery months, we should strive to attain this essential nutrient from other places. Vitamin D is vital for muscle and bone health, immune function, reduced risk of cancer, and reduced inflammation. Vitamin D supplements are helpful, but imagine the steamy fragrance of grilled salmon alongside a hearty serving of root vegetables wafting through the kitchen at supper time. It’s better than taking a pill! Here are some foods high in vitamin D:
Cod liver oil
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
Dairy and plant milks fortified with vitamin D
Take Advantage of Sunny Days
As we emphasized in our last article, winter isn’t exclusively about indoor activities. The crisp winter air is refreshing and important for mental health and well-being. Our bodies were designed to experience cold exposure. When we get outside in the frosty weather our systems work hard to warm us up – this process is essential for healthy immune function, balancing hormones, and burning body fat. Stepping outdoors and spending time on woodland trails, up on peaks, and out in the fields also releases serotonin and endorphins keeping spirits high even during the gloomy months. Also, back on the topic of essential nutrients, try to take advantage of sunny days. Exposure to sunlight is one of the easiest ways to absorb a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Let the sun fall on your face, let the trees teach you their wisdom, and let winter’s bite clear your mind a while by heading outdoors.
We hope these tips invite you to experience winter as a time of comfort and beauty. Be grateful for the present moment, even as the days grow darker. Life is short, so best to live it up now, even in the winter.