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Why Embracing A Winter Pause Is A Self-Care Game-Changer

The end of the year brings about a peculiar dilemma: whether to rest or “go hard” before January 1 hits.

It’s easy to feel conflicted with the notion that every year has to be ended on a “strong” note. However, when we look at the winter season as a whole, it represents a time when nature and humans slow down, embrace ease, and hide away from all the hustle and bustle of the outside world.


Winter, in particular, is a time to hibernate and draw inward — with freezing temperatures and holidays leisure time all providing us a reason to stay indoors. So, when it comes to hitting the reset button before the new year, it’s all about listening to the rhythm of the season and detaching from external influences that push grinding into the new year. And seasonal living is showing us how to do it.

What Is Seasonal Living? 

Living seasonally is the practice of adapting one's lifestyle and activities in harmony with the changing seasons. This approach recognizes and embraces the natural cycles of the Earth, acknowledging that each season brings its own unique characteristics, opportunities, and challenges.

The beauty in seasonal living is how it fosters a deeper connection to the natural world and encourages us to be more attuned to the cycles of the seasons.

We can appreciate how the flowers bloom in spring, the way summer brings us warmth, how autumn is a time for harvest, and the way winter calls for restful hibernation, but we can’t have one without the other. So when winter comes, it’s natural to feel the urge to do less and power down in accordance with the time of year.

Embracing Seasonal Living In Your Lifestyle

Because every season offers something unique, embracing seasonal living can also mean adjusting one's activities, hobbies, plans, and even dietary choices based on the time of year. For instance, summer tends to be a time of eating light, with crisp salads, market fresh seafood, and vibrant cocktails, while our winter cravings typically lean on the side of being hearty, warm to the touch, and nutrient-rich diet to keep us fuller for longer.

The same can be said for how we adjust our lifestyle and daily habits. The wintertime is the perfect setting to reflect and plan. As the year comes to a close, it naturally brings up a desire to look back on our goals, and the transition from one season to the next can be a time to assess goals, make plans for the future, and appreciate the progress made.

While it’s reasonable to want to punch out a few last-minute goals from your vision board, it’s also okay to celebrate all that you have achieved and mark the rest down for top priorities to hit in the new year.

woman-enjoying-cup-of-coffee-staring-out-the-window-wearing-a-white-robe

The wintertime is the perfect setting to reflect and plan.

lisegagne/Getty Images

How To Power Down For The Season:

Less Doing, More Planning.

If you didn’t hit every goal you had for the year this time around, that’s okay. All this means is that you’ve already got a headstart on what goals you’d like to tackle for next year. Living seasonally encourages mindfulness and an awareness of the present moment, so it’s less about taking more action, and more about reflecting on what actions you’d like to take in the coming year. Journal, make your vision board, and express gratitude for all that you’ve achieved this year. If no one’s told you already: girl, you did that!

Unplug.

If there’s one thing we call sharing at this point in the year, it's collective exhaustion. We’re tired, burned out, and simply want to turn our brains off for the foreseeable future. And if that’s you, give yourself the permission to do just that. Unplugging is a simple way to turn the dial down on outside noise and take your eyes off what everyone else is doing, and return them back to all the beauty in your life.

Embrace Small Gatherings.

While it may not be the best to be “outside” and partying like it's summertime, a small gathering with friends and close loved ones can be the perfect antidote to beating those winter blues. The wintertime can be a lonely time of year if you’re living alone or away from family during the holidays, but you can always lean on your immediate community of friends to create a sense of connection during this time.

Sleep A Little More.

Let’s be honest, daylight savings time has us all a little disoriented. But since we can’t fix it, we might as well embrace it. This is the time of year when listening to your body is the best way to take care of it, so if you’re feeling more tired and ready for bed at an earlier time, go for it. Take advantage of the extra hours of darkness and push your bedtime an hour or two; it could play to your benefit.

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Featured image by lisegagne/Getty Images

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