Many of us can struggle and resist the energy of winter. Dark evenings, lack of light, and coldness but what if we could re-frame this time and the beauty and insight it can offer us? What if we could view this as a time of surrender, rest and reflection?
You may experience similar changes in your inner world as what is happening around you in your outer world throughout winter
Learn more about the energy of Winter and how to best support yourself through this transition.
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Winter is a time that many of us dread with dark evenings, lack of light, and coldness but what if we could re-frame this time? What if we could view this as a time of surrender, introspection, inner wisdom and reflection?
During winter, nature prepares itself for deep rest e.g. trees losing their leaves, plants dying, animals hibernating. Many of us humans however, try to resist the bareness, emptiness and deep rest of winter.
We often feel “weak”, “lazy” or “ashamed” for resting. We may have to seek external approval to allow ourselves to rest (e.g. a GP) or we pay to “treat” ourselves to rest e.g. a holiday.
We may crave to skip winter and the slowness of it. Some of this can be due to cultural expectations of always being productive, the expected busyness/outward energy of Christmas that quickly leads to “New year, new you” energy.
Similarly, we may try to avoid the taboo of inevitable death. Yet, death, endings and decay are a normal and certain phase of life. We can try to ignore death, but we cannot avoid it.
Without death or endings, we do not allow the wisdom and prospect of re-birth; for something else to grow and emerge.
When we try to skip the winter/rest phase, we may experience illness/burn out/health issues. Often, our bodies will then force us to surrender to rest/take a sick day when we are unable to allow ourselves to. A common example of this is when our sleep is poor, many of us can relate to the impact of lack of sleep. It is the same concept with general rest.
Winter allows an old version/part of ourselves to die to allow space for a new self/part to birth. If we don’t allow space to question certain aspects of our lives, we don’t allow a space to question/change things or grow into something else.
What if we could be open to the wisdom of winter that it can offer us such as:
A time to surrender in order to listen and find wisdom within.
To connect to a deeper understanding of life and yourself.
To appreciate rest, letting go, slowness.
To surrender to the unknown.
Characteristics of winter energy may include:
A draw inwards (introverted self) and less outward (extraverted) energy.
Feelings of sensitivity, vulnerability, grief.
A slowness, quietness, solitude.
Low mood, low energy, depression, lack of motivation, sometimes illness.
A feeling of nothingness, bareness, a void.
A time for renewal and restoration before the emergence of something new.
Restlessness, resistance to rest, boredom.
Connected to your intuition and inner wisdom.
Questioning and reflecting.
Things that may support us with winter energy:
Allowing time to rest, do less, say no.
Don’t overcommit or over-do.
Listen to your body, what is it calling you to do?
Wrapping yourself up in comfort; whether these be practical things like blankets, warmth, or emotionally such as compassion, kindness, acceptance, support.
Restorative practices – rest, gentleness, less focus on doing and more on being, yoga nidra, sleep.
Use this time to dream and reflect.
Reflective questions that might help
What do I need to surrender to?
What do I want to let go of/want less of in my life**?
What do I want to make space for/want more of going forward?
What is the inner wisdom that is wanting to emerge?
If my body could speak, what is it trying to tell me?
**ideas could be thoughts, beliefs, emotions, relationships, ways of being etc.
This post hopes to offer comfort and compassion for those who experience difficulties during winter phases, and not to take away from their experiences. It hopes to normalise that we all go through phases of “wintering”. Our individual experiences will also be unique.
Not knowing how long a winter/depression/mood will last often exacerbates a struggle with this phase. Try reconnecting to an inner knowing that winter always passes, even the darkest and harshest of winters.
Wintering is not a mistake but rather a necessary phase/season to go through to rest, learn, re-connect and allow for newness and wisdom to emerge. Like sleep and rest, it is an essential part of our energetic cycles.
This post on winter energy is not about how we “should” be or that we aim to feel like this consistently over 3 months. Instead, it offers a guide to be curious about your energy and natural cycles, and does this type of energy resonate with you. Our emotions and energy, like the weather or the seasons, are rarely stagnant, always changing and will be impacted by many variables.
This is a guide and might help someone to verbalise, express and understand the changes we can feel in our energy.
With every end, sparks a new beginning.