It hit us like a ton of bricks.
The dry, cool and dark winter came and smacked us upside the head on Sunday and Monday of last week. A near 20 degree drop in temperature. Dark by 5:30 p.m.
My skin parched like a dried raisin. Hair full of static. Lips cracked.
A wave of heavy energy swept over me. A little lethargic. A little blah.
Cold fingers. Cold toes. Cold nose.
Hold up! I live in Southern California. What gives? I’m acting like it’s my Minnesota freezing cold snowy life again! I live in the land of the sun. Of the beach. Of the endless summer.
Not so. Not every day. It is easy for those of you in the cold lands to call us Californians wimpy and whiny when it comes to cold. Ok, so we are in comparison with what you all endure (I remember well).
But this year was dramatic, and I did some things this past week to ease and soften into it all. I believe these practices can help us all to melt into more softness.
Embracing the season of darkness by taking great care of body, mind and soul.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. During these colder months, take care of it. We usually get all the tips and tricks to protect our skin from sun damage during the summer and nourish it during the hot weather.
Now is an extremely important time to nourish it and love it up.
One crisp 50 something degree morning this past week, I took my cup of coffee and sat outside in the sun. I not only felt warmer from head to toe, my mood lifted and my body relaxed.
When UV light present in sunlight strikes the skin, it penetrates through the outer layers of the epidermis and strikes some of the molecules of 7-dehydrocholesterol, converting it into vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is converted in the kidneys into calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D. And research suggests a link to low vitamin D levels and depression. Here’s one study. Here’s a great article on it.
Not too much sun, though. A10 min sun bath is nourishing for the skin and body. Even in the cold climates. When the sun is shining during the day, sit somewhere to soak in the rays and be rejuvenated!
I recently discovered a delicious avocado mask for the face and neck. I did it twice this past week and my skin feels so much softer! Your skin will love it.
Nourishing Avocado Face Mask
1/2 avocado, mashed up to creamy consistency
1/2 T apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 T olive oil
1/2 T raw honey or 1 egg white
Directions: Combine all together in a bowl and apply to face and neck with soft paint brush or your hands. Leave on for 15 min and rinse off with lukewarm water. Apply toner and daily moisturizer as needed.
A few years ago I learned about an amazing Ayurvedic treatment for the skin that we can do at home. It is called “Abhyanga” and the benefits are incredible. If you do this several times a week (or daily), you will glow from head to toe. It is a self-massage for the skin using warm oil.
Abhyanga lubricates the joints, increases circulation, nourishes the body and helps us sleep better at night. More information on how-to and benefits RIGHT HERE
Do it yourself, or receive a treatment from an ayurveda practitioner.
This is your temple. Your vehicle. Your home. Adore it. Adorn it. Nurture it. Be gentle with it. It allows you to move from place to place. It allows you to express yourself. It allows you to connect with those you love. It allows you to be unique. It is here to serve you. It is here to love you. Love it back. Sometimes we feel like our bodies hate us…we have aches and pains and stiffness and sluggishness. These are the times when our bodies need the most forgiveness and compassion. Love thyself.
Want to melt into softness? Be gentle and kind to yourself. The other day I was teaching a dance class and kept thinking about how I looked and scrutinizing every inch of my body. This is too big. This looks too awkward. I don’t like the way this is shaped.
Pathetic! I totally caught myself. I usually don’t do this. Sometimes I even smile when I look at a part of my body that I used to loathe. I giggle at the jiggles and I send love to the parts that feel uncomfortable. This particular day, my mood was prickly and I decided to take it out on myself.
Celebrate the body you were born in. Stop comparing it to others. They have their own body image issues to heal, no doubt.
Move that bod. Whether it is in your bedroom to your favorite song or in a class with others, move those muscles to music. Music and dance heals the body. Dance a little every day and your mood and your energy will improve dramatically.
I have an awesome Bollywood and Bhangra YouTube playlist on my channel. These songs will make you wanna break out and dance, clean your house, dance with your spouse, shimmy your shoulders and shake your hips loose!
Enjoy my Bollywood & Bhangra YouTube Playlist Here (subscribe to it as I continue to add amazing songs to the list)
Mind + Soul
All of the above practices for skin and full body will lift your mood, soothe your emotions, invigorate your being, and add sparkle to your life. But if you need even more resources and practices to embrace this time of year, consider the following.
- Generosity lowers stress, boosts mental health, and makes us feel more connected to the world and to our source. Help out. Seek organizations and causes that warm your heart and that inspire you to wanna help.
- Gratitude improves physical and psychological health. It improves sleep and boosts self-esteem. Express it all the time. “I am so grateful that…” Journal about it.
- Be kind. Start with yourself and then move to your loved ones. Stop wanting to always be right. Be spontaneous with your kindness and love. Listen more. Talk less. Trust more and let go of control once in awhile.
- Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Have you laughed today? When was the last time you had a full-body laugh? Tears streaming down your face? Maybe a snort or two? What makes you laugh? Bring more of that in this season.
For more resources on feeling your most sparkly and shiny self anytime of year, check some popular posts:
Nourish, nurture and love yourself up, honey. Now is the time. Put into practice ways to love more. Start at home and move out from there.
I support and love you ~