Well hello there!.. It’s been awhile! I guess we could call it ‘personal leave’? Hibernation?… Or better- let’s leave it label-less- I took a break from some things this fall & winter.
A few of those big, rolling, life-change waves crashed right up onto my shore a few months back, and I decided to use the opportunity to take a breath. To slow down. As much as my schedule of responsibilities would allow… I slept. A lot. All through winter break- just like a bear!
I hadn’t realized how exhausted I was! I mean, in general I get the sense that we western-worlders tend to disregard tiredness until we are forced to sit down and shut up.
A New Year’s stomach bug sat me down and shut me up.
I took it as a gift. Happy 2015! Here’s some sleep! Rest your brain for a while! (Yes, please).
When we give ourselves permission to recuperate, the results can be… astounding. This has been a bit of a theme for me all season, and I will elaborate on that in a forthcoming post.
For now, I will just share a few of the things that kept me cozy in my bear-cave this winter:
Tea. So much tea! It’s part of my morning ritual (see below). My current fave is waking up and getting my head on straight with a nice cup of Earl Grey- with just a smidgeon of honey and milk. Just positively pleasant…
Ginger. I’ve waxed poetic about my love for ginger before…. And I’ll do it again! I looooove ginger- whether mincing it up and putting it in your stir fry, or boiling it and drinking it as an uber-healing tea concoction, its just the bees knees. You heard me.
Ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties. Boil up some ginger for minor headaches (or for the ladies- cramps)- it works like an Advil for me! It’s also a well-known settler of the tummy.
Vitamin D. I’m not big on supplements, but come mid-January or so, I have a tendency to start feeling sluggish, and a little down in the dumps. While this is a self-diagnosis, I’m pretty sure it’s seasonal depression (cuz it happens every year).
On the east coast, during the harsh winter months, not only does the sun not show its face as often, but we actually (“planetarily” speaking) aren’t close enough to it to reap any benefits! This can create a problem. Sunlight activates Vitamin D production in the skin, and this nutrient has a whole host of jobs to do in the body- including helping with calcium absorption (for them bones), and affecting certain hormone levels (hence the moody blues).
During the warmer months, we generally receive enough solar exposure to get the job done. But this time of year, we can easily become depleted!
A morning routine. Having some type of ritual in those delicate, trajectory-setting, early hours of the day is really grounding. At least more so than scurrying harried around the apartment, after losing track of time (over-grooming my eyebrows, examining that oncoming stress pimple, etc…) and tossing things, willy-nilly, into my bag for the day (not so grounding).
An earlier bedtime. This is pretty much required to make the morning routine possible. While I’ve kind of been oscillating the past month between later and earlier bedtimes, I’m trying to make my way toward a consistent middle ground. I know from years of observation that I function best on 7-8 hours of sleep (preferably closer to 8!), but I’m also a realist, and know that this is not plausible 365 nights per year. I’m aiming for a general majority.