Hunkering down for winter.
As the nights draw in and the cold breath of winter sends a shiver down our necks we glimpse winter solstice on the horizon, very soon it will be the shortest day of the year.
I have been feeling tired and a little unmotivated. I have not been able to push myself to get into my swimming clobber and hit the pool after a busy day at work.
Over the summer I enjoyed heading into the balmy evening to go for a swim and a shower at the pool. Right now I can think of nothing desireable about heading out into a chilly dark evening to swim and drive home wet and cold.
What do I want to do? Well, I want a lovely warm bath, to get into my comfy pyjamas, to light scented candles and inhale the warm pine smell, to watch the dancing flame glowing in the dark snuggled under a cosy blanket. My desire is telling me to hunker down with my family, like a mother bear hibernating through the harsh winter.
There is a scientific reason for this natural state, Winter Fatigue
What is winter tiredness? ... As the days become shorter, your sleep and waking cycles become disrupted, leading to fatigue. Less sunlight means that your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy.
So you see it's normal for us to slow down over winter. Our ancestors knew winter was a time of rest, of going into our homes and recovering our minds and bodies of all that has happened over the last year as it draws to a close. A needed time of reflection and healing.
Our modern world does not easily allow this natural cycle to happen anymore. It's all about bright lights, dazzle, overspending and overworking to keep up with the consumerism. Rushing around here there and everywhere. Parties and pressures are at the max. We fight against the natural tug to go inwards and the results are that winter feels hard.
Without the time of resting and withdrawing we put ourselves under strain, whereas winter could be a kind embracing time of the year it becomes a strain, we get exhausted, we feel down and we get ill. Instead of starting the new year with renewed energy we start it drained and weak.
So if you feel like embracing the dark, cold winter by resting in the glow of candlelight, snuggling into your comfy pyjamas at 4pm, then you go for it. Use the winter to reflect, to rest your tired limbs and worn-out mind, restore yourself ready for the new year around the corner.