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Fall is nearly over and winter is almost here! Hopefully, the fall season was a fruitful time of consolidation and harvest for you. Gathering the reserves to make it through the stillness of winter was the purpose of fall.

On the surface of winter, there is stillness and routine. Day after day of cold and snow makes it seem like the season will never end. This lack of variation is one of the defining characteristics of winter. Everyday seems to be the same. The branches are bare and the ground is frozen, there will be a layer of snow on the ground and all outward activity will seem to have ground to a halt.

In winter, everything is stripped bare and only the foundations and reserves remain. Being covered in a sheet of snow, we need to use our reserves wisely and our will to push us into the next season. The consolidation and harvest of the fall has provided an abundance of resources to draw from while there aren’t any available in the current environment.

For winter, there is very subtle work to be done. While we are in this seemingly, restful period, our deepest resources are preserved and rearranged to make way for the birth to occur in spring. Just because we don’t see any outward sign of action doesn’t mean that everything is dead. Everything is quite alive waiting for the spring warmth to upwardly surge.

It is important to stay where you are in winter and not look too far ahead (i.e., when is winter going to end?) or too far behind (i.e., looking back longing for summer). This is a time to manage your resources and have the determination to stay where you are for now knowing that spring is coming and there will be a time to act nimbly and decisively.

The main idea here is the management of resources to secure the success of the following spring and summer. Given the nature of the winter season, there are a few things you can do to make this a great winter for your yourself.

1. Repeat a simple mantra that this season will soon be followed by spring. For example: “Spring is coming” or “Winter is necessary for spring to come.” As the days start looking the same and we reach the depths of winter this can be helpful for staying out of a rut by reminding us that there is more daylight in our future.

2. Spend resources wisely. This doesn’t mean being miserly. It means don’t spend more time, energy, and/or money than is necessary. When you go to work out, don’t “empty the tank.” Rather, work up a nice sweat and wind the workout down well before you become fatigued. The same goes for social occasions. Go and have a good time, but leave well before you’ve had your fill. This way you keep yourself from stagnating without spending too much.

3. Get to sleep earlier! Try going to sleep at 9 p.m. and waking up at 7 a.m. It may be easier than you think due to the longer periods of darkness. This is a golden opportunity to catch up on the sleep deficit that we’ve incurred during the other seasons and perhaps encourage a great sleeping routine that can carry over into the next year.

4. Get acupuncture. If you have difficulty adjusting to fall or winter, your local acupuncturist can help. Chinese medicine can help rebalance and harmonize you so you feel better and prevent illness. Contact our office to learn more.

Do you have any tips for winter? Please share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your take on winter.

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