Apparently yesterday was the last really cold morning we’re going to have in Melbourne this year. Or so a friend told me. But I’m not so sure winter is ready to bid us goodbye. Nevertheless, it’s been a hard winter and right now we need some warming winter mood lifters to carry us through to Spring.
It was significant this happened on August 2nd, as it was Imbolc here. Imbolc is a festival celebrating the approaching Spring and the return of the light which coincides with the first stirrings of Spring.
Here in Melbourne early spring bulbs are busily flowering and the wattles have been dressed in a golden blaze for weeks. But it’s easy to imagine how significant a green tuft glimpsed near the end of winter would be to someone who’d been snowbound for months.
In fact, even in Melbourne we often feel low by the time Imbolc arrives, lacking energy, eating and sleeping more.
In spite of spring beauties in the garden and the stirrings of spring I’m still feeling the effects of winter. I am still cold! The garden’s still too cold and wet to get started on spring planting. The air is too wet to start on spring refurbishments around the house. Spring has really not yet managed to get a toehold on winter.
These uplifting and reviving ideas will help you over the hump into “real spring”.
Himalayan Salt Foot Bath
When I was young foot baths were something for old ladies with sore feet. But I discovered how soothing it is to sit with feet in hot water while I read and sipped tea. Now I love the chance to indulge in this simple way. Also when you soak feet in the foot bath you gain the health benefits from the essential oils and Himalayan salts.
Soaking in a Himalayan salt foot bath is soothing for your feet and revitalising for your whole body after a long day. Add essential Oils to help with all sorts of winter problems. But be careful to check the oil you choose before using them. Some are contra-indicated for various health issues and others can be irritating if they come into contact with the skin.
Our whole body is mirrored in our feet. Therefore whatever we do to nurture them also nurtures our whole body.
Warming Winter Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are a great way to get a winter lift. They’re the easiest way to get the benefits of herbal healing wisdom that’s been around for thousands of years. Although there are many ready-made teas it’s great to tailor make them from fresh ingredients to fit your needs. And it’s especially especially good if the ingredients are organic.
Ginger is a warming tea with the benefit of being a germ buster. Lemon and ginger is a great choice, or simply drop some chopped ginger in your normal cup of tea.
Cinnamon stimulates circulation in the lower limbs. There are many spicy teas or chai that contain cinnamon. Or simply sit a cinnamon stick in your tea.
Chai tea blends many warming spices including cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, to warm, soothe and energise.
Sometimes we just need a “mood boost” during winter. Try these ideas.
- Play some uplifting music, especially good if you can dance to it. Music directly accesses your emotions to quickly lift your mood.
- Call your best friend and perhaps even meet up for a cuppa. It’s tempting to hibernate in winter but socialising gives a great sense of belonging and makes you feel appreciated. Make sure to keep the conversation light!
- Get moving, especially if you sit at a desk all day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Exercise releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine and with all those dancing around inside you are sure to feel livelier.
- Don’t forget to laugh. Laughter clubs are everywhere. A good laugh sends you straight into a relaxed state. It lowers your blood pressure and also stimulates endorphins. Remember how good you feel after you hear a good joke?
Winter is a great time to count your blessings. Cultivating gratitude is a wonderful way to increase happiness.
Try making a list of some of the things in your life for which you are truly grateful. It is a wonderful and quick way to get you out of a slump
Hit the Kitchen
Cook up a big pot of yummy warming winter soup this weekend. I found this interesting variation on traditional Potato and Leek soup and I went out yesterday to pick up the ingredients (organic of course!). This chef catered a milestone party for me which featured a delicious array of unusual foods for special diets. I’m really looking forward to trying this one.
If you have a slow cooker put on a nourishing casserole for dinner. You can load it up with root vegetables full of nutrients for a great winter health boost.
Find yourself a great book in which you can get immersed. By the time you finish it and raise your head you’ll find that Spring has Sprung. Too often we save up the great books for holidays and forget to enjoy the relaxation and pleasure they bring throughout the rest of the year.
Turn off the TV, close the computer, and instead grab a cosy rug, a warm tea and curl up for a couple of hours of blissful reading…for pleasure, not for work.
Winter Mood Lifters
I ‘m not about to pack away my winter woolies, not for a while yet. But I am going to look for the parts of winter for which I am grateful. The crispness of the air, the beauty of the morning fog hanging low over the river, the awesome heater in my house, the chance to wear my great collection of gorgeous scarves, and the reassurance that the wheel of life continues rolling along, all remind me of the gifts of the season.
But right now I am off outside to pick some of the gorgeously scented and very aptly named “Erlicheer” jonquils to bring into the house to lift my winter spirits and remind me that Spring really is in fact, just around the corner.
What is your favourite winter mood lifter?
How will you celebrate the shift of the seasons?
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
© Catherine Bullard 2012. Duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given to Catherine Bullard with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.