For many, Winter brings with it the Winter blues. This low mood, anxiety, depression, or overwhelm is often labeled seasonal affective disorder. Perhaps you love Winter, but maybe you’d like to feel better about how you navigate it, or how to enjoy it more.
Winter is the season of the Divine Feminine. We can tap into that Feminine energy and use it to our benefit. I have 5 tips to help you navigate and overcome the Winter blues and step into a more empowered experience of Winter.
1. Tend the Hearth
The first tip is what I call tending the hearth.
I don’t mean your fireplace hearth, though tending your cozy Winter fire may help you to feel better. I’m talking about assessing your overall space and environment.
Winter is an inward time, a time of hibernation. Look around and see, do you need to declutter certain spaces and clear things away? Do you need to set some candles out, and perhaps light some with intention around what you’re doing or what you’re experiencing in the space you’re in? Consider setting up an altar or sacred space for yourself, a place where you can reflect, journal, meditate, or draw a daily oracle card, and really connect with things that help you find your inner light as the outer light grows ever more dim.
The hearth is the foundation and energy of our home, our personal space, our nurturing environment. If your environment is not nourishing you, what can you do to change it?
2. Meet the Season
The second tip is to meet the season. We need to remember that we are Nature, and thus we’re going to experience the ebb and flow of Nature’s rhythms.
Our patriarchal dominance culture of do-do-do, make things happen, and push forward doesn’t allow for us to turn inward, slow down, and simply be, even while all of Nature around us is doing exactly that.
What would turning inward look like for you? How can you slow down? How can you do things differently for yourself right now?
We also want to enjoy meeting the cold and the darkness. Maybe that means buying the right gear, like a warm, cozy, coat, hat and mittens that you love putting on because they feel like a big hug.
If you’re anything like me, you might tighten your back, muscles, and neck, with everything starting to ache because you’re tensing up in the cold. But if you go out with proper warm gear to meet the weather, then suddenly you don’t feel quite so vulnerable. You don’t feel quite such dread, and that crisp, cool, fresh air can feel amazing, like a rejuvenating, energizing force.
We want to meet the season for what it is, embrace the cold and darkness, and allow ourselves to enjoy the firelight, the candlelight, and all the things that actually meet the season. We want to get ourselves outside, into the Winter season, and feel the cold on our skin.
Embrace that Winter is a slower time, a time for pause and reflection, for cold and darkness. Embrace the slowness. The more we resist it, the more we’ll keep fighting against it. If we can learn to embrace the Winter and feel the warm hug of Winter clothing, or the fire and the candlelight, we can have an entirely wonderful Winter experience.
3. Honor the Feminine Calling
I mentioned that winter is a season associated with the Feminine. The Feminine calling is about calling us into ourselves, calling us to remember our inner light when the outer light is dim and dark, and the shorter days don’t have as much of that outer sunlight. We’re being invited into ourselves to reconnect with who we are, and to go to our depths.
The Feminine invites us to notice our intuition and honor whatever uncertainty, chaos or confusion Winter’s darkness can bring for us. Winter is like a womb space that we’re being called to visit and connect with, and allow our depths to be stirred up.
The Feminine is often connected with meeting our shadows, and we have this time of the year, if we’re willing to pay attention, to allow our shadows to come to the surface. This can be difficult and painful. This is why so many can get pulled into anxiety or depression, or the seasonal affective disorder that kicks in when we aren’t more connected. Sadly our culture tends to turn to more escapist type of things, instead of embracing these more difficult experiences for what they are.
Winter and the Feminine are calling you to your depths, asking you to meet your shadows, to see what needs to be let go or moved on from, and what new possibilities are being birthed. We want to allow for the flow of the Feminine, letting go of rigidity and the ways we want things to continue to be. We tend to hold things and want them to be the same, and then we escape when they can’t be that way. Instead of escaping, the invitation here with the Feminine calling is to invite you into yourself, invite you into the season, into what’s trying to come forth within you, and allow for uncertainty, discomfort, and ambiguity to stir something new within you.
4. Center, Ground, and Connect
Centering, grounding and connecting is a fourth tip to navigate the Winter more effectively, and may be a bit different for each person. It might be meditation, walking, breathing, presencing or anything that helps you to come into yourself, connect with the present moment, and be here now.
A simple exercise I love to remember is to feel my feet. The Winter can make us want to escape, to leave our body, to separate ourselves from the here and now. But if we feel our feet, we can remember that we’re connected with the Earth, turning inward and deepening into this beautiful rejuvenating Winter season. When we presence and connect with ourselves, we don’t escape so easily.
Another exercise is what I call the pelvic bowl. Whenever you’re sitting or standing, you can feel into the bowl of your pelvis, and ground yourself. Feel the center of your energy, the center of your gravity, the center of your being. We can ground into our pelvic bowl and allow ourselves to be here now, resisting the tendency to escape, retreat, and withdraw. Winter is a very beautiful time to connect with what really matters. You don’t have to be connected with everyone and everything. You may long to connect with a kindred Soul or two, and it’s really okay to forego the gatherings and hustle and bustle for the sake of your own centering, grounding, and connection to what‘s most important to you.
Another way we can connect and center ourselves is to nourish ourselves. Ask yourself, what is nourishing me right now? How am I being nourished? This might be through your food, a warm bath, a walk in the woods, feeling the sunlight on on your face through the window, or having a great conversation with a special friend. What am I doing that gives me nourishment, that sense of presence and connection, that sense of the ground beneath my feet?
We also want to mind our energy. All of these energies of the Feminine, including uncertainty, darkness, surrender, etc., can put us into a seeming state of chaos, but out of chaos comes order. Out of uncertainty comes something new. Out of the void is birthed something special, something sacred, something fresh for the future. We want to mind our energy by not going into things that don’t feel right for us, paying attention to what’s energizing us and what’s depleting us, and really nurturing ourselves well.
5. Dialogue with Your Soul
The final tip I have for navigating the Winter more effectively is to dialogue with your Soul. This tip comes out of a favorite tool that I use for deepening into connection with myself, and that is journaling.
I invite you to download my free Journaling as a Path to Come Home workbook, which speaks in more detail about this technique.
In Soul dialogue, you’re asking a specific part of you that needs attention what it might be needing. Allow for free writing, or even do it through conversation. You might have amazing insights while soaking in the tub, taking a shower, or going out for a walk while speaking with your Soul.
You might pose a question to the Universe, and then hear something back. Often we don’t pay attention to what we hear back, and what we hear might very well be our Soul speaking to us. Sometimes our Soul speaks to to us in images, dreams, pictures and symbols. What are you noticing? What kinds of symbols and images are in your dreams, or even animals showing up to offer you a message from your Soul?
Journaling is so great because you can write out a question, express what you’re feeling about it, and wait for what wants to be said, trusting whatever you’re writing. You give yourself a chance to open up to what wants to come forth within you and actually listen to it.
Winter is a time when the veil is very thin and we can hear messages from our Soul more clearly. Many of us start to dream more potently, or remember our dreams, or perhaps we’re having a lot more intuition. That is the intention of Nature’s Winter.
During these darkest times, we’re meant to get more from beyond our material existence. If we journal consciously during the darkest nights of the winter, we’re going to get more messages from our Soul and for the coming year. My annual Sacred Nights of Winter Journal is a powerful tool to help tune into the beautiful, Feminine energy of the Winter.
I hope these 5 tips are helpful for you to ward off the Winter blues, and navigate through any Winter anxiety and depression that can be common for many of us.
Let’s embrace Winter to together, and move through it with greater joy, peace and happiness.
Here’s a video version of this blog: