Updated: Apr 21, 2021
I don't like downtime. Any given day, I wake up ready to go and I'm energized to start checking things off my list. When people ask me how I do it all I usually say I'm cursed with ambition. There is always something to create or a new interest to sweep me away.
Winter is difficult. The sun barely climbs into the sky before sleepily relenting to darkness. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the rain and heavy cloud cover seems endless in the winter months. I become trapped; forced to stay inside to avoid the dank chill that no amount of layers can battle against. This makes me restless. I catch myself wrestling tiredness and fighting my own body's wish to rest and hibernate. I don't like downtime. I feel like I will lose my momentum or miss out on...something.
But this year, I will shift my mindset. All cycles need a resting period. It's wise to take a cue from the seasons and draw inward. Pull your focus and energy inside yourself and listen to the soft whisper to tell you what you need. That soft voice you are usually too busy to hear. What do you need? What quiet moment do you want to take for yourself? Take sometime to nurture and rejuvenate.
The Scandinavians have a concept called "Hygge." There isn't an exact English translation for it but it's the cozy, comfortable feeling you can cultivate with small rituals of self-care and attention. Gift yourself a moment with a book you've been meaning to read and a cuddly blanket. Enjoy a slow sip of your favorite warm drink. Take the time to light your favorite candle and breathe in the wonderful smell with deep, relaxing inhales. Notice the simple, easily missed, details that can bloom contentment within.
Revel in the harshness of the winter chill and how to makes your home all the more sweeter and warmer to return to. The lights twinkle all the merrier in the dark nights of winter. Be thankful for what the past year has brought and take the time to let gratitude ground you. Life is richest in the subtle details. Connect (even if it's on Zoom) with loved ones and friends. Even connect with your furry pets at a pace you usually don't have time for.
Slow down your thoughts and take a break from that overloading, neck-breaking pace. Winter is a perfect time to enjoy the lush details of life and rest. The world can wait. You will be more productive and more focused after giving yourself the time to rest.
Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be in my blanket fort till spring. ;)