Winter brings with it peace and beauty as the world slows it's pace to a sleepy yawn. Cold sets in and the animal kingdom begins to hibernate and conserve energy.
The winter solstice for the Northern hemisphere takes place in the third week of December bringing with it the shortest day and the longest night. Energetically, there is a symbiotic relationship with what is happening in the great winter sky and what is happening within our human bodies.
Darkness allows the body to shift it's hormones so that our desire for rest and sleep become prominent. Our breath begins to slow, we crave heavier warmer foods and our pace of life begins to stroll.
In Chinese medicine, winter represents the most yin time both of the seasons as well as energetically in the body. Winter corresponds to the Kidneys and to the element of water. Energetically, things begin to constrict and move inward and we have the greatest possibility of injury through cold invasion.
The cold is a constrictive agent contracting and tightening everything it touches. This can be very beneficial if we are trying to conserve our energy and rest during the winter but if we have too much exposure to the cold this can also cause stagnation of blood and fluids, deficient digestive fire, as well as cold constriction in the uterus causing painful periods and abdominal tightness. Cold can injure our yang, if we are exposed to too much, engendering us to have weaker immune systems as well as constricting energy and blood flow to the head causing migraines and headaches. Cold can create tight muscles, weak back and knees, dry skin due to constriction of fluids, weak cough and runny noses. Injury due to cold can engender chronic fatigue, weak appetite and even lack of joy, excessive fear, and overall malaise.
It is important to honor the natural flow of this inward moving energy and allow yourself to slow down, take time to be reflective as well as reducing the amount of time you spend out in the cold elements. Being over programmed and overstimulated in the winter can also damage the body's natural rhythm causing the body to feel taxation and depletion.
We also want to make sure we keep ourselves warm both inside and out. We do this by nourishing our body, mind and spirit with warm and inviting soups and stews. We want to eat as many cooked vegetables, fruits, meats and grains as we can. Eating salads, sushi and other raw foods can cause internal cold which will then be compacted by our external cold environment.
We want to drink warm and invigorating beverages, as well, like TEA!
Abbé Tea Company's Fatigue Tea is perfectly crafted to help nourish the kidneys, and warm the interior with spices such as cloves. Our Jet lag Chai is centered on warming the digestive system with ginger and cardamom. Our Under the Weather has invigorating spices that help move energy up and out when we are feeling lethargic and susceptible and our Prevention Tea with its cinnamon and rosehips help boost the immune system when we are feeling like we need a little help. Let's not forget our Relieve Tea which has amazing pink peppercorn, turmeric and cacao to help circulate blood and warm the joints and our Hydrate tea which helps to nourishes fluids and move them to the surface to help moisten and replenish the skin.
Of most importance, allow winter to foster your inner metamorphosis as you allow its stillness, silence and darkness to bring forward change, movement and freshness for Spring. It is this quiet that allows wisdom to be heard.