December can be a month of big energy. Between holiday shopping and parties (please wear your masks!), cooking and decorating, this time of year can be filled with lots of hustle and bustle.
Ayurvedically speaking, it’s also a time of cold and dryness, which gets exacerbated by the excess movement in our lives (a.k.a. the hustle and the bustle). And if you live somewhere on the planet where it’s damp or downright drizzly this time of year, it can be difficult to get motivated to do anything.
It’s no big shocker that this time of year can bring on a whole bunch of extra stressors, and we all know the importance of stress relief. So whether you’re feeling scattered and unfocused, overwhelmed or unmotivated, it’s vital that we use our todays to set our future selves up for vibrant health. Lucky for us, all of these different energies have certain movement options that will help keep us more balanced and at ease.
When you’re feeling kind of frantic, take some time to sit and breathe. Bonus points if you’re sitting on the floor, and double bonus if you’re on the actual earth (as in sitting on the ground out in nature). Slow belly breaths will also help do all sorts of good things for your body. (Side note, if you missed my convo with Cara Wheatley-McGrain about the vagus nerve, check that out to see the massive impacts that belly breathing has). And if you combine sitting on the ground and breathing super slowly into your belly? <muah> Chef’s kiss.
Taking time to meditate each day is another great way to calm your nervous system down, as are doing some gentle stretching and restorative yoga. The point is to do the opposite of what’s happening around you. If you’re feeling like you’re going a million miles an hour, slow down. If you’re feeling sluggish, get more movement in.
That leads me to the other scenario of movements that help when it’s wet and cold outside.
On the days when it’s raining, or when it’s cold and there’s lots of moisture on the grass, for example, then getting some physical movement is the key to your stress-relief plan.
No need to be too hardcore here. This could be doing something as simple as going for a walk in your neighborhood. If you like doing movements that build more heat, that’s okay too. The point is to just get in at least 30 minutes of movement each day to help boost your energy and lower your stress hormones.
I love being able to customize my movement practice based on the weather and the time of year we’re in. When we adapt our daily routines to be more in sync with the rhythms of nature, our stress levels are lower and our body/mind/spirit connections are given a delightful boost.