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Winter Wellness: Solstice Tips to Keep You Healthy and Happy

The shortest day is upon us. The darkness of mid winter yin energy invites us to slow down and find coziness with a hot cocoa by the fireplace. While some love the excuse to semi-hibernate and recharge their batteries, the colder months and shorter days can be a challenge for some. From fighting the flu to fending off winter blues, taking care of yourself during this time can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you navigate the winter season with ease:

1. Stay Active

Don't let the cold weather discourage you from staying active. Although hibernation seems tempting humans are made to move. Balance an inclination to rest with slower indoor exercise like yoga, pilates, or dancing to keep your body moving and your spirits high. Not only will this help you stay in shape, it will support your mood. The goal over this time is not to set new records, simply to slow down a little and maintain where you are.

2. Nourish Your Body

Eating well is essential for overall wellness, especially during winter. Incorporate immune-boosting foods like citrus fruits, garlic, and ginger into your diet to help ward off colds and flu. Warm, comforting meals like soups and stews can not only help you 'feel' nourished but are easier to absorb. This supports resting your digestive system and gives a boost to nutrient stores ready for use in busier months. In TCM it is suggested to avoid cold foods from the fridge as it takes energy to heat which can hinder the digestion process as the body 'works' to heat the food up to body temperature ready for digestion.

3. Combat Aches and Pains

Cold weather can exacerbate joint pain, especially in areas like the knees and back. If you're dealing with discomfort, consider using heat therapy, gentle stretching, or try exercises that strengthen the muscles around each joint. It is also important to look at the role of your nervous system if you have been in pain for some time. High level or long term pain can be draining for your overall adrenal health. Rest with more holistic stress relief approaches such as mindfulness may be required to reinvigorate a healing process.

4. Prioritize Sleep, Mental & Physical Rest

With shorter days and longer nights, it's important to prioritize sleep to ensure your body gets the rest it needs. In rest we restore our mind and body with hormonal balance, nutrient distribution and repairing of damaged cells. None of this occurs in busyness. A well-rested physical self is then better equipped to fight off illnesses and support stress resilience to maintain overall health for longer.

5. Boost Your Immunity and your Mood

Making small changes to your daily routine can go a long way to keeping you healthy and resilient throughout the winter months.

Support your immune system by staying well rested and hydrated and washing your hands frequently. Consider regular supplements like vitamin C and zinc to build your resistance to infections, especially if you know stress has been an interrupting factor effecting your diet.

Vitamin D from natural sunlight is more difficult to acquire over winter, yet also very important to help fight winter ills and support mood. If you are not getting at least 30mins of good quality sunlight per day you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is said to support better mood, Ca+ absorption and other vital nutrients as well as support immune over winter months.

6. Embrace the Winter Solstice

As we approach the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, take time to reflect on the season's significance. Remember, winter wellness is not just about physical health but also about nurturing your mental and emotional well-being.

Slower winter schedules mean that ideally we have more time for contemplation and reflection. Matariki's influence and upcoming long weekend also supports this period.

The rebirth of the Matariki constellation over the horizon, signals the new lunar year. It marks a time of contemplation and gathering energy inwards to rebirth, just as it does in Chinese Medicine where the solstice is marked by most yin energy transforming to a new spark of yang.

Give yourself permission to slow down, you have the rest of the year to be busy. Rest, plan afternoon naps, book reading, family board games and other more sedate and mindfulness style activities during the longer weekend. Try not to get caught up with the public holiday 'expectation'.

Remember everything in nature cycles through phases, including we humans. When we align with this restful energy we aren't simply 'doing nothing', we're more in phase with nature. It is important to create this space to visualise, gather resources and dream, ready to put in place as goals for Spring.

By incorporating these tips into your routine, it is my hope that you'll be better equipped to emerge feeling rejuvenated and ready for whatever inspiration comes your way.

If you find you are challenged by the dark days of winter, succumbing to seasonal ills, aches, pains, or feeling continually tired or overwhelmed, try a 'winter' relaxing Acupuncture treatment to calm and warm your body and boost your spirits. Online booking

Here are some of the things that recharged me last winter: Mt Hutt, Lake Camp toasting marshmallow's, and watching my fur babies in front of the fire.

Here's to a season filled with warmth, wellness, and joy!

Warm regards



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