It’s that time of year again. If you’re suffering from a sniffing nose, fatigue and winter blues, there’s a few easy steps you can take to help you get through the cold winter months. According to ancient Chinese beliefs, human beings should live in complete harmony with the natural cycles of the environment. So before stocking up on anti-flu medications, perhaps utilise the cold season so replenish your energy and conserve your strength for the upcoming spring.
Winter is yin in nature, this means it is inactive, cold and damp. It is also ruled by the water element which is associated with kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. In the Chinese medical philosophy the kidneys is one of our main sources of energy or ‘Qi’ within the body. This energy is stored in the body to help you through stressful times or to assist in preventing illnesses. It also helps you to age gracefully!
1. Wash your hands
While this goes without saying, washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from the common cold.
Naturally, our bodies are inclined to sleep more during the winter months. If possible, allow yourself to sleep in and rest when your body tells you to. The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese belief, advises people to go to bed early and rise late in order to preserve Qi and prepare you for the cold days.
3. No stress
As we all know, stress can be very harmful to our overall wellbeing. This is a great time to allow yourself to relax more and promote the body’s balance through body + mind activities such as yoga, meditation, walks or simply just reading a nice book.
4. Eat hearty foods
Lentils, pulses, nuts and grains provide great nutrition and slowly released energy. Also eating according to the seasons is one of the best ways to ensure your body receives everything it needs. While supermarkets often stock the same type of foods all year round, local farmers markets provide organic and seasonal produce that will help ensure optimal balance of Qi.