The winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year, arrives on December 21st. It's a natural time for stillness and reflection, a moment to pause before the whirlwind of the holiday season truly takes hold. Our capitalist society doesn't tend to allow us to listen to our bodies natural instincts. We are animals, after all! We forget that, I think. Do your instincts play a role in how you navigate life?
As you probably know, many animals instinctually rest in the winter. There may be a part of yourself that is longing for rest. Your animal instincts might be asking but there's a good chance they are drowned out by a to-do list!
Part of my passion and the work I believe in doing is supporting people to get in touch with their instincts, and even if their lifestyles might make it challenging, to still find ways to honor and respect what their bodies are telling them.
This year, let's challenge the notion that true rest feels like a distant dream. Let's use the winter solstice as an opportunity to reclaim our right to rest, to honor the darkness as a time for renewal, and to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits in ways that go beyond simply checking "sleep" off our to-do lists.
Here are 10 ways to bring more rest into your busy life and celebrate the winter solstice with intention:
1.Bring Mindfulness into every day tasks.
I like to say that the senses and the breath are anchors into the present moment. And they are available in every moment of every day! You can bring mindfulness into every day tasks such as washing the dishes, taking a shower, or driving by bringing attention to the sensory experience of the water running on your hands or body, how the soap feels, the different textures and temperatures, etc.
2. Drinking one full glass of water first thing in the morning.
Not only is this helpful for getting your systems working again after resting all night, but it also helps you bring some intention and mindfulness into the beginning of your day, starting with something you know is healthy and taking the time to prioritize that very simple thing.
3. Write one word or sentence about how you are feeling.
This can be a great way to slow down and check in with yourself, honoring where you are at. It doesn't mean you have to change anything but can be a nice way to check in and bring self-compassion if necessary.
4. 10-minute yoga nidra.
If you have a little extra time, this can be a great way to reset your entire nervous system! They say it's the same as a 3 hour nap and in my experience it is extremely refreshing! Search on youtube however long you have and "yoga nidra" it's a lying down experience.
5. "If you don't like the mess, close your eyes and take a nap".
I love this expression - let it go! There are more important things than how clean your house is.
6. Look at your to-do list or make a list of things you need to do, and then cross off 2-3 things and decide to let them go this season.
If you give yourself this permission you might realize that some things are not as important as others and might bring you a whole lot of relief to let go of.
7. Light a candle
Light a candle that you keep within sight of whatever you are doing, not only to bring in warmth and light, but also as a reminder to be present, patient, and aware of your surroundings.
8. Put your phone to bed 2 hours before you do.
Goodnight phone! Away you go!
9. Connect with Loved Ones.
Instead of the constant doing, make sure you are taking time to connect in a meaningful way to the people you love and care about. Maybe that's a phone call, or suggesting a game, a hike, or time out.
10. Do Something Creative.
Engage in activities that spark your creativity, even if it's just putting music on and dancing while you cook, clean, or wrap presents.
Remember, rest is not a luxury, it's a necessity. By incorporating these practices into your life, you can make the winter solstice a time of genuine renewal and prepare yourself for the year ahead with a calmer, more grounded spirit.
Happy Winter Solstice!
May this be a season of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation for you.
I hope these tips help you bring more rest into your busy life and celebrate the winter solstice with intention.
Wishing you a peaceful and joyful holiday season!