How and why to begin slowing down this season

On slowing down as a birthright

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Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash

You can listen to this essay as audio here

Happy Sunday, Soothers. If you’ve been reading my work for a while you know that I generally get Seasonal Affective Disorder pretty bad. And yet, somehow, this is the first fall/winter I’m actually excited about the season.

  • You can give yourself permission, where you’re able to, to wake up later and go to bed earlier
  • You don’t have to keep the same level of social commitments or obligations
  • You DEFINITELY do not have to: lose weight; maintain weight; keep a particular standard of a body shape
  • …Or generally Do All the Things, Achieve The Most, and Be Totally ON
  1. What is one behavior you’d like to shed?
  2. What is one thing you’d like to leave behind in 2020?
  3. What is one thing you may need to grieve?
  4. What is one way you can slow down in the coming months?
  5. What is one nourishing winter meal you can learn how to make?
  6. What is one way you can make your living space cozier and more inviting?
  7. What is one seed you can plant now for spring?
  • Drastically cutting or reducing caffeine and alcohol (I try to find special teas and mocktails to still have little drink rituals throughout the day)
  • Regular meditation + conscious breathing (my breathing video is here)
  • Making meals with winter produce, stuff I’d never want to eat in hot DC summers; stews, roast foods, heavier and warmer meals
  • Weekly baths with epsom salts
  • Walking outside during sunlight as frequently as possible
  • Hiking or being in nature as much as possible
  • Picking a plant or tree in your neighborhood and visiting it. Seeing myself aligned in plants/flowers/trees has been a powerful practice and reminder for me. My favorite tree that’s awash with the most glorious, joyful buds in May is powering down, now, too, and holding fast through the coming season. And she’s no less beautiful for doing so — in fact, it’s what allows her to bloom come spring. I can do that, too.
  • Developing a maximum cozy evening routine. Lately I’m throwing my PJs in the dryer to warm them up, preparing a cup of hot chocolate while they spin, lighting 17 candles, then bringing my warm PJs and drink to the couch to read a cozy mystery. (This would be a great winter to get invested in a book series. The Maisie Dobbs series are A+ cozy mystery books, fwiw.)

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother. http://catherinedandrews.com

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