suzana naturallifestyle 120The first week of 2015 is behind us! Countless resolutions are still wrapping up the anxiously ambitious minds of many. Gyms are overflowing with new members. Magazines and social media advertise overzealous dieting tips to lose the extra pounds gained over the holidays. Three days, ten days, two weeks detox regimes are setting a race for a big prize of all inclusive arrangements for better and healthier us. Numerous workshops and seminars offer jump start to, well- new everything! We are determined to change our bodies, our careers, our relationships, our lives... and as a result, we never quite get there.  But there are effective things we can do.

It happens that a calendar beginning on the New Year takes place in the time of the deepest winter. Days are very slowly getting longer, wind chills are oftentimes below zero, forecasts brimming with blizzardy conditions, snow drifts, ice, and slush. The plant and animal world are tranquil and resting or hiding. Whether we like it or not, we humans are still an inseparable part of Nature's wholeness, regardless of our cultural and civilizational 'advancements'. What surrounds us, affects us in many ways. Winter too!

Joints and muscles feel stiff and in need for longer warm ups. We want to rest more, sleep more, and tend to crave satisfying rich food. There is a need for seclusion and quiet time, and perhaps we are not in a perfect mood.  Some of us are more affectionate and longing for closeness, cuddling and intimacy. Unfortunately, most of us have been fighting all those seasonal obstacles in a frantic attempt to meet deadlines, pay bills, satisfy social norms and, of course, preform our best. It is hard to take up allegiance with the winter, right?!

So consider the suggestions that follow to be something of a naturalist's and energy conservationist's approach to your well-being. Winter teaches us to conserve and preserve life. If we evolve hand in hand together with the coldest season honoring Nature's rhythms within ourselves, we might be gifted with true and long lasting renewal and growth this year and for many years to come.

Mending Your Sweet Tooth

We usually crave sugar more during the winter months. Try to curb your desire for any products containing processed sugar. Naturally sweet root veggies and seasonal fruits, such as apples and pears can provide you with all the sweetness you need.  Pouched or roasted apples and pears with a dash of cinnamon and a splash of honey are lushes treat for every dessert lover.

We are so lucky to live in an area with local famer's produce almost on every corner. Fill your baskets with locally grown beets, carrots and parsnips. Enjoy them raw in salads or roast them with some pungent spices, combine them with radishes and fermented cabbage, garnished with the zesty sprouts of your choice.

See the Trees. Smell the Trees. Honor the Trees

Notice the trees when you scroll down your road, walk in the woods or nearby park. The everlasting coniferous trees are standing out in all their beauty when the rest of the plant world sleeps. Glance at their deepest of the deep green shades. Immerse yourself in the color by nothing else then looking.

Find a moment to stand close to pine, fir or spruce, close your eyes and allow fragrance of resins to mesmerize your nostrils and benefit your lungs with freshest nature's scent. Be sensual in nature. There is not much to think about -- oh, such a restful moment.  Just breathe and say thanks to the trees which breathe for all of us.

If you cannot enjoy outdoors, keep houseplants around you, use pure essential oils like cedar, pine or juniper with diffuser to bring aroma of the forests closer to you.

Set the Fire

Set the fire in your fireplace, fire pit, wood stove or simply lit up the candles. Long dark nights after short, somewhat gloomy days welcome flickering orangey flames.  Fire brings light in our souls, sparks ideas, initiate plans and warms us literally and metaphorically.

Warmth open us to share stories with family, friends, and partners. Hug your child, kiss your lover, and cuddle with your pet. Even if you are all alone, treat yourself with a great affection- lotion your body after bath with a care, place your hands where you crave touch the most and honor yourself.

In Love with Bedtime

Hibernation is perhaps most popular term which describes typical winter behavior. And certainly not without reason those winter nights are endlessly long. Go to bed as early as you can, and sleep as long as you can. Long winter sleep is the best nourishment you can offer to yourself.  Dim the lights. Turn off all electronic devices an hour before sleep and try not to have any of them in your bedroom. Keep your bed neat and cozy.  Just before you snuggle under all your blankets glance at the starry sky (when available) and smile. Be grateful. Have a good night!

Suzana Jelovecki, MS, Licensed Acupuncturist, is the owner of Roots and Branches Acupuncture and Nature Bound Woman