{winter, still}

Can you feel it? The warmth? The rise in temperature? Every time you go back inside your home, can you feel the cabin fever growing? Does your body long for movement and more? It can be easy to let this wintry season claim you…take over not only your yard and your sidewalk with snow and ice, but your heart and your mood as well.

And yet, what does winter give to us? In return for being kept, we are given a small space, darkness, seemingly vast room in our lives with limited options.

In disguise, we are given room for trying new rhythms and rituals.

As of late, there are a few rhythms I’ve added during this cold season that have kept me from feeling that wintry feeling of restlessness…

A regular workout. Lifting weights has become regular instead of something “I should be doing.” It has been teaching me that strength is personalized and that it is both mental and physical. I am an individual. As such my strength grows in response how I tune in to my responses, truly challenging myself, and paying attention to my breathing (talk about a lesson to take outside the gym). Having weights at home has allowed me to “escape” each time I go downstairs to our unfinished basement, turn up the music, and focus on growth. At home options are endless for integrating some sort of daily routine – sequences of yoga positions in the morning of evening or simple toning with weights; having a routine invites you to working toward goals and feeling strengthened in all areas of life instead of waiting for something (like spring) to happen.

Morning Face. A facial for my birthday a month ago, an introduction to a dry brush, a luxurious-feeling new rhythm to the day in under 3 minutes. Use brush in circular motions. Rub in oil. Apply moisturizer. My dry skin is grateful and I feel ready for the day. Also consider an evening face routine to unwind.

To read is to travel. In a recent conversation with with my brother-in-law he described a difference between reading and watching: when we read, we dress the scene; when we watch, we don’t have to engage in this way. Dressing the scene. Traveling in thought to different experiences, times, countries, perspectives. We started this new year with a deeper resolution to read more (always) and are finding our lives enriched from it and the act of ‘dressing the scene.’

Learn something new, something small. Admittedly not as regular with this, but impressed none the less, the free phone app Duolingo will teach you another language for the consistent few. I haven’t made time for it everyday, but even with small windows of time every few days, I’ve already learned 145 words in Italian and it gives me a way to practically prepare for future dreams of travel (note bene: wine and cheese – check!)

What else can we put in these spaces, these moments that begin and end our day? The time around work where “real” life happens… Perhaps new hobbies like lettering or pull ups; new skills like sewing, woodworking, recipe trying; new shared moments like puzzle making or game night. May we take this season for what it’s worth and grow from it, instead of eagerly wait it’s departure.

 

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