Winter is here and TCM says: rest, stay hydrated, and focus on you this season. According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the slow, introspective yin energy is at its peak in the winter. To stay healthy and aligned with this energy, it's more important than ever to make time for self-reflection and self-care. There's also an emphasis on staying hydrated and avoiding cold drinks - more reason to drink hot tea everyday! Follow the TCM recommendations below to nurture your body and soul during the cold winter months.
In TCM, winter is the season of the water element. Water is essential to life so this element represents the storing of energy. Hibernation isn't just for animals. TCM emphasizes the need for rest as we're more prone to feeling tired and overworked in the winter. Try going to bed earlier and creating a bedtime ritual that will help you ease into restful sleep. TCM also recommends embodying the water element by practicing fluid movements like breathwork, dancing, and yoga.
In TCM, each season is associated with an emotion and winter's is fear. With less sunlight and more time indoors, this seasonal emotion can get amplified pretty easily. This makes winter a time to be more compassionate and nurturing towards ourselves. Make self-care a daily practice and explore practices and rituals that can help you relax. If you find yourself feeling unsettled, a hot cup of jasmine tea can be an effective way to naturally relax the body and mind.
Energy: Yin / Color: Black
In TCM, winter is the peak of yin energy - the black side of the yin and yang symbol. Yin represents a dark, slow, inward energy. In the winter, nature is at rest and there's no activity or excitement. This energy applies to us too. According to TCM, this peak yin energy can manifest as depression and loneliness, but it can also provide an opportunity for deep reflection. Take advantage of the yin energy to look inward. Meditate, journal your thoughts, and pay attention to your dreams.
Our kidneys play an important role in fluid regulation, which is related to the water element of winter. In TCM, the kidneys store 'qi' - the vital life force energy in our bodies. Since the kidneys can easily experience imbalance in the winter, it's important to drink lots of fluids. TCM warns that cold drinks should be avoided as they're not beneficial for the kidneys. Hot tea is the perfect way to stay hydrated, warm your body, and improve blood circulation.
Take note of these seasonal TCM tips for a healthy winter. Embrace the slow, introspective energy and take time to listen to your body and soul. Make the most of this restorative period so that you're recharged and ready for the warmer seasons ahead.