Seasonal approaches to wellbeing
How to use the seasons to identify your needs and honour rest
A constant battle I have always had with myself is allowing rest. Even when I can acknowledge that I am tired, giving in to rest causes me to believe that I am being (the dreaded word) ‘lazy’. I’ve always been scared of the word lazy, it is a fear I battle mainly in the warmer months of summer. How many times have you denied yourself needed rest because the sun’s out? Or maybe I should adjust that question to Scotland and say ‘because it’s not raining’…
Acknowledging your inner seasons
We recently had the wonderful Hannah Swift of Yellow Empress Acupuncture join us for Tribe Talks. Her session covered a range of topics around menopause but all stemmed back to how to look after yourself in both mind and body. I was particularly fond of the analogy of the seasons and how we can identify our bodies’ needs by assigning seasons to our cycles (you can read more about this here). I’ve come to realise that this can not only be used as a powerful tool in understanding menstrual cycles but a tool to help honour rest and remove the self perpetuated notion of being ‘lazy’.
Rest is not a passive action, nor is it a negative. Rest can be just as, if not more imperative to our wellbeing than that quick run around the block or 30 minute yoga session. When thinking about the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang it becomes easier to apply the concept of dualism. All things have two facets, nothing is purely good nor is it purely bad.
“When life-force energy is appropriately balanced between Yin and Yang, it flows smoothly maintaining and promoting a good state of physical and emotional health”-Elina Zagkorontskagia
By applying the seasons to aid in understanding yourself, your moods and your energy you can help to pace your energy, calm your nervous system and gain insights into your overall wellbeing. Think about the seasons and what moods you attach to these. What things can you supply yourself with during your winters to bring yourself back into spring and summer?
How to identify your inner seasons
Here are some examples of how to apply the seasons to yourself and your wellbeing:
Surrender and let go. Stopping and digesting may expose us to what we have been keeping at bay by keeping busy. Now is the time to give in to your tired and weary self, let go of expectations and simply rest.
Time to take stock and hype yourself up. Your inner spring is a time of becoming. It’s time to feel at home with yourself and celebrate being you, say yes to yourself.
Liberation and express your power. Manifest your calling, fulfill yourself and your spirit, dare to be your truest fullest self.
Here is where your inner critic rests. This will cause disruption and disturbance internally and deflate your ego. The challenge here is to sit in discomfort long enough to learn and grow but still hold onto your goodness.
“Plants store up resources through their root systems, waiting for spring for their next burst of growth. Nature shows us the wise way to be: we should follow a period of busyness with a time for deep rest”-Mimi Kuo Deemer
Once you have observed and visualised your seasons of emotions ask yourself how you tend to deal with them. How can you nurture your needs and come back into summer? By observing natures cycles, respecting that emotions come and go in seasonal shifts and applying this to our own lifestyles we can understand that rest is not a shortcoming, nor is it lazy. By resting we can take stock and nourish our bodies. Let’s value and respect intentional quiet time and let go of the need to be busy.
Not sure where to start? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What types of rest practices do you make time for on a regular basis?
- What are the warning signs you need to prioritise rest?
- What are the barriers that can get in the way of getting enough rest?
- What types of rest can you weave into your week?
- What might be some of the boundaries you need to set so you can honour your need for rest?
“Instead of asking, ‘Have I worked hard enough to deserve rest?’ ask, ‘Have I rested enough to do my most loving, meaningful work?”-Nicola Jane Hobbs
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