Your body has an intuitive response to the seasons but sadly, we often ignore our body’s needs. Is your body telling you to hide under a blanket of cats and watch Netflix this Winter, but another part of tells you that you ‘should’ to go out to that party? It’s likely that your body is responding to the natural cues in your environment, but your intellectual brain is overriding it to keep up with societal norms or what you think you ‘ought’ to be doing. Ignoring your body’s needs can lead to fatigue and burnout. Following your body’s intuitive response to the seasons can help you thrive.
Your body’s intuitive response to the seasons
Do you get that ‘yeaahhhh Summer’s on it’s way!” euphoric feeling in late Spring? Maybe it’s just because I grew up in a misty, cool country where even glimmers of sun spark a shedding of clothes in city parks, but I find myself full of energy and lightness in Spring and Summer. As Winter draws in, I find myself naturally slowing down, and desiring to stay in more.
Your energy levels fluctuate around the seasons
Every year I have to stop myself from launching new programmes or classes for 1 July because the more masculine, business part of me thinks “hmm yes new financial year, new project”. But when I listen to my body it has zero energy around these projects. I instinctively want to to hunker down and regroup my energy. (So I do!)
It is natural for your body to have different energy levels and needs in the different seasons. Following those natural instincts will help your energy and overall health.
Winter is about conserving energy and slowing down so that you can ‘Spring’ back.
Spring is where your ideas and projects start to germinate
Summer is for flourishing tada!
Autumn is for reaping the rewards of your Spring-Summer efforts.
Instead of listening to our body, often we ‘soldier on’
Often we ‘soldier on’ as the famous ad told us. We push through when we’re knackered. We disregard the signs from our body that it wants us to rest. We use up those backup energy reserves and wonder why we collapse in a heap 6 months later.
What does your body want you to do in winter? Do you listen?
Pushing through can lead to burnout
Not listening to your body, using up your backup reserves of energy can lead to burnout. I wrote about this recently. You can find out about how to identify and prevent burnout and my top 10 tips to recover from burnout.
Culturally we don’t take enough rest in Winter
Have you noticed how frazzled everyone is in Brisbane by the time Christmas rolls around? They are literally hanging out for their January holidays.
My suspicion is that we don’t take enough breaks mid-year in Winter to build up our energy reserves for the next 6 months.
In contrast, having had a big June-July-August break, in the northern hemisphere, the build up to Christmas brings a flurry of excitement and energy. Everyone is buying special party clothes, partying waaaaay too much and photocopying their bottoms at the office party. (Maybe that was just me!).
They have energy despite the short days and cold nights. I suspect that this is because they got their mid-year rest. And that we don’t do that enough here.
Following the flow of the seasons may bring a sense of ease to your body-mind
Allowing yourself to live more intuitively according to the seasons may bring a greater sense of ease to your body and nervous system as you tap into your body’s instinctive response to the natural environment.
Instead of pushing through, you’re going with the flow. Listening to your body’s needs. I like to think of it as a more feminine-oriented way of living.
Here are some ideas for conserving and replenishing your winter energy stores:
- Slow down and take time to listen to what your body intuitively wants to do
- Do gentler exercise or movement that replenishes energy e.g. restorative yoga under candlelight
- Keep your body warm. Layer up with warm clothes, blankets (have you seen those electric throws?)
- Eat warming foods
- Prioritize sleep and rest
- Lie under a blanket of cats. Very squirmy but very warm.
P.S. You might be interested these other posts
- How to identify and prevent burnout
- My top 10 tips for recovering from burnout
- How to feel safe in unsafe times – find a safe place in your body
- My top 5 books to help you thrive
- The 7 types of rest