The colder, gloomier days ahead are the perfect time to begin the practices and rituals that will help with supporting your body in winter, both physically and mentally.

Oh, you don’t have any practices or rituals that you already do? Well, read on, my friend. I am here to help you.

Let’s just quickly discuss why we want to have supporting practices for winter. Winter tends to make a lot of us feel…tired. We notice the shorter days, the colder temperatures, the whirlwind of the holidays, the increase in sickness. It’s no wonder that a lot of us may not look forward to that lovely list right there.

The thing is, it makes us feel tired on purpose.

We are supposed to be slowing down during this season. Nature is desperately trying to get our attention by decreasing the daylight, lowering the temperature, etc. It is nearly impossible for us to keep up with our summer energy when winter rolls around…and you are not “lazy” for feeling that.

We are living beings, deeply connected to the environment.

Our bodies literally make different hormones based on our exposure to sunlight. Those longer days in the summer help us feel invigorated until that 9pm sunset. And yet, we can barely stay up a few hours past the current 4pm sunsets in the winter. And if you look at the natural world around you, you might notice many of the other living beings (plants, animals, etc.) also slowing down.

So. #1 thing on our list of “3 Ways To Support Your Body In Winter” is…slow down.

And I will elaborate on how to do that.

  • Slow down. Do not fight against what should naturally be happening during this season. Go to sleep slightly earlier, do not overload your schedule, enjoy slower activities (board games, puzzles, reading, etc.), and lean in to the beauty that winter brings and how it is so different from the rest of our year. You might find more energy during this season if we just take a breather.
  • Soak up sunlight (whenever you can find it). As mentioned above, we are deeply connected to the sun. Getting outside ideally in the mornings for even a few minutes can halt your body’s melatonin production and increase cortisol production (allowing us to feel more energized during the day and get better quality sleep at night).

Quick Tip: If you are up much before the sun in the winter, consider purchasing a sun lamp or happy light to give our bodies a similar reaction in the morning – I use this one)

  • Warming food and drink. Soups, stews, hot water and tea. All of these things help hydrate our bodies during the dry winter season, as well as keep us more satisfied and comforted. It is again on purpose that we do not usually crave cold salads and smoothies during the winter months – our bodies look for warmth and in-season foods like root vegetables (that are typically found in soups and stews) during this time. If we lean into those seasonal shifts, we can feel more settled and at peace.

A couple of my favorite warming foods and drinks? So glad you asked!

So, try out one of these recipes, slow down your hectic winter schedule, push yourself outside a bit more, and notice the connection you can deepen with the world around you and the happiness you can gain by supporting your body in winter.