4 Ways To Gently Begin The Year And Why You Should

4 Ways To Gently Begin The Year

Holistic Healing Kuel Category Expert: Carol Lee

Yes you may want to exit 2020; yes please how fast can I run! Yes you may want something different; I’m definitely fed up with feeling stuck and isolated! And yes, you may want more health and vitality; I’ve eaten far too much junk food throughout the pandemic and over the holidays!

For so many of us New Year feels like a threshold of hope and opportunity; things will be different, easier, better, healthier and we may feel desperate to get going.

But is this the right time of year to sprint off into starting something new?

From an energy perspective I would say absolutely not, and I mean our physical energy as well our inner ‘life force’ energy.

Feel Connected From The Inside Out!

Health, in Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy, is seen as being in tune with the natural world; whatever is happening in nature is also happening within us. They recognized that there was a different energy to each of the five seasons (spring, summer, late summer harvest, autumn, and winter).

Winter Living And Healing Means Rest And Recuperation:

“allow ourselves to do this we can set our energy up to be ready for the more active and dynamic times of the year”

In the northern hemisphere New Year is the time of the Winter-Water element. The health and balance of our Water element within sets us up for the year ahead, it is the foundation of our health and wellbeing. This is the season of resting, recharging, and recuperation.

If we allow ourselves to, we will sleep longer, do less physical exercise, have short day time naps, eat more carbohydrates and be content with more insular activities such as reading, journaling, meditation and gentle exercise like yoga or tai chi. These activities calm the senses allowing the system to decompress and recharge and boy do we need it after 2020. If we can really allow ourselves to do this we can set our energy up to be ready for the more active and dynamic times of the year, Spring and Summer.

Of course we no longer overwinter in a cave, we have work and responsibilities that take us out into the world. We can however be aware of this Winter-Water time and embrace it as much as we are able.

4 Ways To Gently Begin The Year:

1. Exercise:

If you are starting an exercise routine this New Year:

  • Make sure you warm up well and cool down
  • Choose something gentle, slow and peaceful; yoga, Pilates, walks in nature, stretching

2. Food:

Cleanses and dieting often feel quite extreme and can involve big changes in how we eat, this can be quite challenging for our sleepy body to deal with. For this reason a Winter cleanse or diet has to match the seasonal energy of slow restoration and nourishment for it to be truly supportive. You can…

  • Increase your water intake and decrease other caffeine or sugar laden drinks. Warm drinks with fresh ginger and lemon are comforting and supportive. You can introduce more water slowly over the course of a week. Explore herbal teas.
  • Soak grains, nuts, and seeds before eating them; this make them easier to digest.
  • Boost your nutrient intake by eating more greens, these help support your Liver energy to manage a gentle cleanse.
  • Focus on natural, plant based meals, including vegetables soups, broths and stews, keep meat and dairy to a minimum.
  • Reduce or eliminate processed food and sugar as much as possible.

3. Emotional Health:

“This means less lists and expectations and more ‘going with flow’”

2020 was a super charged emotional year, so many of us felt at the edge of our comfort zone. Even people who don’t usually feel anxiety felt over stretched and exhausted. The Water element brings the opportunity for calm and healing reassurance if we plug into its flowing nature. This means less lists and expectations and more ‘going with flow’ and ‘lets see how things go’. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always go to plan. Simple Watery pursuits to promote inner calm include:

  • A foot spa with calming essential oils.
  • A candle-lit shower or bath.
  • Or, a doze or meditation listening to a rain or river flow recording.

4. Spiritual Connection:

This Winter season is less about action and more about ‘feeling’ and dreaming about what you would like for the year ahead. I call this creating our ‘dream seeds’. Dream seeds are feeling-based, they are more general, something like: “In 2021 I’d like to feel more vibrant, I’d like to feel more free, I’d like to feel more abundant”.

Once you are clear about how you would like to feel, you are ready to move into the more action based Spring planning energy; when you know how you would like to feel it is so much easier to make plans. Wintertime is therefore the time to keep a journal or notebook handy, cut out pictures, and make a scrapbook, revel in the dreamy time.

So instead of rushing headlong into 2021, saunter in, make Winter a mindful time that supports you to recharge and recover.

Carol Lee

About the Author:
Carol Lee is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, Sugar-freedom coach, Creative Kinesiologist, Teacher and Author from the U.K. She has been working in Complementary Health for over 25 years. Her holistic approach to healing and transformation is about listening to, witnessing and working with the body’s ‘knowing’. Carol believes this is where we hold our wisdom, experience and capacity for change, especially as mid-life women. She works with women wanting to kick the sugar habit, those who are navigating health challenges, or who are wanting to up-level their life in some way; helping them to clear the blocks to success and wellbeing. She is currently enjoying her empty nest, and the freedom it brings, with her partner Jon. She loves the coast and walking the wild landscape of South West UK, snuggling her sweet rescue cat Stevie, gardening and eating delicious, nutritious food.

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