Living in Synergy with the Seasons
Spring Has Arrived
By Kim Watson, Massage Therapist at The House of Palms
Blossom is lighting up the trees, the bees are out in force and the hot cross bun aromas are drifting down the high street. Spring is here. It’s time for our bodies to wake up from the winter slump, as our juices are replenished ready for our next chapter.
Witnessing the subtle changes in seasons and living in synergy with the different weathers, foods, feelings and patterns, can help us to live more slowly. Being better connected to our environment helps us to appreciate each day and truly live in the present.
The idea that we’re supposed to just keep going and growing is exhausting and unnatural. The organic drops in energy, loss of focus, and calls for hibernation vs the highs, energy boosts, and increased motivation balance each other out across the year.
Moving through the seasons
The reality is that our modern lifestyles move us away from the cycles of nature, with most of us living and working in over-crowded, busy cities. There is no distinction between what we eat, drink and do throughout the seasons and we are often rushing to get to the next stage, where it will be warmer, cooler, dryer, and so on. The problem with this is that we don’t get to appreciate what is happening right in front of us and we’re constantly living in the future.
Instead of resisting what we see as complications and inconveniences – the heavy snows in winter or the unbearable heat of summer – we should embrace and adapt to these factors. Of course, it’s not realistic to stop working in winter or to be outside all day in spring, but you can work with your commitments, motivations and energy.
For instance, winter is a time of hibernation and reflection on the year, where we can recharge our batteries, reduce physical exercise and increase slow-cooked foods. In summer, the longer, warmer, brighter days provide us with energy to manifest, create and activate. We can put more time into work or pleasure, networking, collaborating and socialising.
How to live seasonally
Start slowly and take notice of your internal and external environments. From the colour of the sky, the temperature and wildlife, to how your body feels, your energy levels and cravings.
Eat foods that are in season in your area of the world
Mother Nature provides everything that we need throughout the year. The fresh, plump fruits in summer to help cool and hydrate our bodies, to the potatoes, greens and root veg in winter for stews to boost our immune system.
Buy vegetables from your local farm or market, so you’re not only supporting local business, but you’re eating fresh produce that hasn’t been shipped miles by boat or plane. Make the most of what’s growing in the fields and woodland around you, from blackberries, to wild garlic, and fennel.
Follow the general pace and rhythm of each season
As the nights get longer in winter, sleeping for longer feels good for your body, whereas the warmth of spring readies your muscles and joints to get into the outdoors. By rooting yourself in nature’s rhythms, instead of the chaos of modern life, you can be more grounded.
Invite the season into your home
Nikki from Cherry Tree Way introduced me to the Japanese art of Ikebana, a way of arranging seasonal flowers that are displayed in the home and changed regularly to represent the new season. This allows you to follow the transition of the seasons and helps you to become more aligned with nature. Having summer fruits on display, daffodils in a vase, or a winter wreath on the door help to remind you where you are in time.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Simply by being intentional about noticing the signs in nature will help your appreciation of the seasons. In autumn check out the golds, reds and bronzes of the leaves or in summer watch the sun go down from your garden, park or a high point near you.
Whether it’s swimming at your local lido in summer, apple picking in autumn, or reading a book indoors with a hot chocolate in winter. Now that it’s spring, it’s the perfect time to start working in the garden and preparing the soil for planting flowers and vegetables, getting out our lighter clothes, and fending off the winter blues with some forest walks.
I spoke to slow living advocates, Head & Hands, this month about my tips for Spring. Take a look at their blog for words of wisdom from other practitioners.
Take 5 minutes after your shower to massage the whole of your body using long, soothing strokes with your favourite body oil to awaken you from winter slumber. Knead gently into any tight or sensitive spots and explore the different textures and sensations of your skin, whilst breathing in and out slowly to calm your nervous system.
Stretch! It’s time to lengthen the tendons and ligaments to boost circulation and remove any stagnation trapped in your joints. Yoga, pilates, or simple arm stretches, side twists and forward folds at home are a great way to wake up the body from winter hibernation.
Pop some refreshing and uplifting citrus and earthy essential oils, such as geranium, grapefruit, patchouli, clary sage, or bergamot, into your diffuser, bath or onto your wrists.
Relax & Unwind
We’re taking part in a self care day on Sat 4th May with some amazing practitioners, to host a choice of holistic treatments, a drop in workshop and tea & vegan snacks. Find out more here