Self Care during Water Season (Winter)

We are in the middle of Winter now.

Its cold. Its dark.

In Chinese Medicine we realise that we are creatures in nature and our bodies resonate with all this cold and darkness. Just like every other creature. And like any animal we should adjust our behaviour to the season if we want to thrive.

Animals slow down in the winter and so should we. It is the season to go to bed early and to get up late. Its time to rest and to meditate. It is time to nourish our bodies with warming foods to get ready for an active spring.

Winter resonates with the Water Element. The Water Element is associated with our Kidney energy. Our Kidneys are where we store our vitality and our will power. We need this time to restore our Kidney energy and build up our reserves. The result of not allowing ourselves to rest can be both physical and emotional. Imbalance in the Water Element often manifests in lower back pain. People can also experience problems with urination, reduced metabolism and sexual weakness. The emotion the Chinese associated with Water is fear. If we allow our Kidney energy to get low our courage and our willpower is eroded and the result can be emotional problems such as anxiety.

I see a lot of people at this time of year who are exhausted. They work hard. They don’t rest. Artificial light allows us to work late into the dark nights and start early in the dark mornings. Those poor Kidneys don’t have a chance to recover, their stores are not replenished. In the end people tend to get ill.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to help yourself in winter. We should harmonise our lives to the season as much as possible. Watch our bedtime doesn’t get too late. Find time for quietness and for meditation.

Plan to eat lots of winter foods like root vegetables, lentils, chicken and black beans with lots of warming spices such as cayenne , garlic and ginger. Keep warm and cozy and spend time with friends and family. In fact it all begins to look a lot like Christmas without the fags and the binge drinking.

Happy Holidays!