We’ve been thinking a lot about our friends still buried in snow as Spring approaches, and so it seemed appropriate to offer some tips for keeping our energy up while we’re still trapped indoors.
Here are a few things we do around our house to stay warm, well nourished and powered up even as we wait for the chance to get out into warmer Spring weather.
1. Sleep with an Open Window.
Even though it’s cold out, we keep the bedroom door closed and open a window at night to get fresh air into our sleeping room without freezing the whole house. Add a nice warm blanket to the bed and snuggle in, but wake up to a brisk cool fresh morning and you just feel exhilarated. Close the window when you get out of bed.
If you have a pet who sleeps in the room, you might want to give them a blanket, too.
2. Keep a Good Supply of Probiotic Foods on Hand.
We make fresh sauerkraut from cabbages, raw milk whey and salt and try to serve a few tablespoons with our lunch and/or supper meals every day. Another great way to boost immunity and energy is to keep a kombucha brewing all winter. We keep a covered jar in the dining room on a little shelf behind the corner bench. Perfect place for us to see it every day so we remember to pour off the fresh brew once a week and make up a new batch of tea to start another round. It’s a lovely fizzy drink for anytime of day, we particularly like to have a kombucha tea time break for catch-up conversation after a busy day and a little refreshment to replenish after an afternoon workout.
3. Keep Moving.
We start every day with Tai Chi- a simple 20 minute session leaves you feeling limber and rejuvenated. If you wake up feeling stiff or sluggish, Tai Chi is the perfect remedy to get your blood moving, to stretch those muscles gently but completely and to put your balance back on track. The gentle movements are perfect to give you a good workout without any straining or stress to the body. It’s quick and easy and best of all, if you focus on your breath and the patterns as you move through them you will achieve a lovely state of empty mindedness that can be hard to get when we cannot get out into nature. Personally,
I like to practice my Tai Chi as a moving meditation of gratitude for all the working parts of my body and for the wonderful life that I am so blessed to have, with family and friends I deeply love and a beautiful natural world just outside my big windows where I do my Tai Chi. It becomes a daily reminder of the great gifts and joys of my life, whether the scenery is covered in a blanket of white, an array of the greens and colors of Spring and fall or the browns, golds and reds of late summer. Whatever the view, the beauty is palpable and fills my heart with peaceful joy.
There is always room for more strenuous and heart rate increasing yoga or calisthenics a few times a week at other times of the day, but a daily practice of Tai Chi keeps me in the right frame of mind, limber and at ease with the world. And since stress is a major part of loss of good health, that is probably as important as the exercise it provides.
4. Keep in Tune with the Changing Seasons.
Remember, as the days get longer, to let your body clock shift as it wants to. Especially when daylight savings comes knocking and tries to throw you off by moving the hands of the clock. If you can adjust your schedule to stay with the sun, let yourself sleep longer and stay up later, just because the clock has changed doesn’t mean you have to! We have chickens and ducks on our farm and this helps us immensely, because the clocks may change, but their schedules do not, and so the clocks are just an hour later when we do our morning chores than they were the week before daylight savings came along.
As we move closer to Spring, our days are getting longer. Honor that, and allow yourself to feel the pull of more light in your life each day. Stretch the hours of physical activity a bit longer each day, just as all of nature is doing, and you will go to bed tired and ready to sleep. You will sleep well, and rise refreshed. Finding our own rhythm in the rhythms of the seasons is a wonderful way to tap into our own intuitive and powerful connection to our physicality and being.
5. Find Your Own Rituals for Fulfillment.
Pursuing such simple daily rituals and practices can add up to a big boost to our overall health and wellness when the weather outside is not yet cooperating with our longing to be out of doors and on the land. Find your own best practices for nourishment, movement and gratitude and all of your days will become a blessing to you and to those around you.