Connecting with Nature is important, but how do we do it in the depths and cold of winter?
Connecting with Nature in the Winter is easier than you might think. Yet we struggle with it often because of the longer nights, shorter days, bitter cold in some areas, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to connect with Nature in Winter. We’re going to take some steps to look at how we can connect with Nature in an easier way in the Winter. We’re also going to explore ways of looking at Winter differently so that we can connect to Nature more in the Winter.
We’ll explore some activities that you can consider, and some of them might not be as typical as you might think.
I also have a very special tool for you that’s going to make connecting with Nature in the Winter so much easier.
Embrace Winter’s Unique Beauty
How we look at the Winter is so important if we want to connect more with Nature.
We want to be willing to take a look at the wintry landscapes and to look for beauty all around us. I can’t tell you how many people I hear saying, “It’s ugly in the Winter. It’s dead in the Winter, It’s this. It’s that,” and there’s no room for finding the magic,beauty, and uniqueness of the Winter season that’s available to us. We close ourselves up and shut ourselves off from that.
However, when we’re willing to look for the beauty, find the uniqueness and specialness, and look forward to it for its own reasons, then it’s much easier to stop feeling like we can’t connect with Nature or we can’t find joy in the Winter.
There’s a special quality in the lighting we might experience at this time of year.
There’s a quiet hush we can experience if we’re out in the snow, the snow is falling gently, and there’s a blanket of white on the ground. There are so many things that are special to that time of year that we really don’t want to dismiss, and that can truly help us connect with Nature more easily in the Winter.
Winter Nature Activities
There are some wonderful activities that can help us connect more with Nature in the Winter.
We have common activities like snowshoeing, skiing, hiking or walking in the snow. Those are wonderful. In fact, I challenged myself to get proper gear, like a nice warm parka, really great warm gloves, and proper warm boots to get myself out in the deep cold, sub-zero temperatures sometimes, to go for a walk. There’s a different quality in the air. There’s a different quality in the experience.
What makes Winter miserable is when we’re not prepared for it.
We want to get outdoors. We want to spend time outside and do some of these fun activities, and having the right gear will help you tremendously.
A less common outdoor activity might be having a community fire. Can you set up a little bonfire pit to sit around, and bring some cozy blankets outside with some chairs that have the snow cleared off of them? Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you can’t sit outside and enjoy a cozy fire outdoors with the proper gear on.
Another outdoor activity might be to create and enjoy a beautiful spiral garden. This is often associated with the holiday festivities. You can read my article, Holistic Family Holiday Ideas to Nurture, Simplify & Bring Meaning, which is packed with some wonderful holiday-centered ideas, as well as a lot of things you can consider for Winter, and I give some examples of what a spiral garden is in there.
A spiral garden is this idea of setting up evergreens in a spiral form, and having a meditative moment of reflecting while walking to the center of the spiral and back out again. Many people love to do this outdoors instead of creating a space indoors for this. The spiral garden is a beautiful idea to honor Nature and to be part of the connection to the season.
Another thing that you can do is a lantern walk. The nights are so long and dark in the Winter, and it can be really lovely to go outside in the deep of night and carry a lantern with you.
Carry a candlelight lantern that is soft with a flickery glow so you can experience the surroundings, and listen for different sounds. That’s such a beautiful way to enjoy Nature, again with the proper gear and being warm to prepare for that.
Often, we complain that we can’t connect with Nature as if Nature doesn’t exist in the Winter time. But it absolutely does. We’re the ones that choose to block ourselves off from it and we have so many opportunities to connect with it.
Similarly, whether you carry a lantern or not, going for a walk in the snow is so magical. It’s beautiful to be walking while the snow is falling gently, listening to the quiet hush of the insulation the snow creates in the environment. Doing it in the daytime or at night can be such a magical thing.
Another thing to do outdoors in the Winter isis stargazing with the nights being as dark and as long as they are. Often the nights are very crisp and cool, and we can see the stars so clearly. That’s a beautiful thing to do, as well as wildlife watching and tracking.
This segways into some of the indoor things that I want to mention, because we can watch wildlife both outdoors and indoors, looking for their tracks, looking at the birds that might remain during the Winter season or anything else that might be bustling around.
We can also do bird watching from inside our house. That’s a beautiful way to connect with Nature in the Winter. If it really feels too cold to get outside, or maybe it’s icy and you’re not comfortable walking around with the ice, then set up a situation where you can sit at your window and look outside and be connected with it in that way. Even connecting with the frosty bits that start to form on your window pane on an exceptionally cold Winter day can be a lovely way to connect with Nature.
Nature is filled with the elements of fire, water, earth, air, and ether.
We want to consider how we can connect with Nature’s elements from indoors if we can’t get outdoors.
I love to have a fire going in the Winter when it’s really cold, and enjoy the coziness of it. I’ll sometimes set up some aromatherapy in a little pot of water on top of the wood stove, and drip in some wonderful essential oils like balsam fir. I love the scent. It makes me feel like I’m participating in walking in the forest or smelling the richness of the pine trees.
These are things we can do indoors, just as well as being outdoors. Nothing beats being directly connected to and hugging a tree compared to smelling the scent of the balsam for example, but that’s just one example of ways that we can remember that Nature is alive and well, and really connecting and helping to support us in so many ways if we’re willing to try new things.
We also might be interested in seasonal plants like a Christmas cactus that tend to bloom in the Winter. Anything that allows you to see Nature’s life still unfolding is so special in the Winter. During the holidays, I love to force bulbs and let them root and blossom into an amaryllis or paperwhites. That’s a beautiful way to connect with and still witness Nature unfolding in front of you, even in the depths of Winter.
Another wonderful practice is journaling. It may not seem like a connection to Nature, but you might sit at your window and sketch what you see or go outside and sketch what you see. You might choose to document some of the changes you notice in Nature.
However, remember most of all, we as human beings are Nature. We’re not just a part of it.
There are changes going on in you as the seasons change, and the cycle of the seasons demands a certain amount of turning inward in the Winter in order to connect with what that looks like in your Nature.
Journaling is a really powerful way to see what that looks like, and with that, we can honor specific times. One of the most powerful times I have found to journal is during what I call the Sacred Nights of Winter. This is the time from roughly the Winter Solstice through early January and this time is like a magical portal to our Soul.
Many indigenous, ancient tribes and wisdom would use this time as a way to connect more deeply with a sense of prophecy for the coming year, a sense of their dreams and communication from the underworld or the Otherworld as it was be called, and also connecting with themselves and honoring this very slow time.
We tend to be in the hustle and bustle of holiday time, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, we can pause, slow down, and tune into our Soul through a journal during that time. I have a very special tool for you to do just that.
Every year I publish a Sacred Nights of Winter Journal, and each year the theme is different.
When this article is being made, the theme for this coming year is Living Aligned with Nature. What a beautiful way to connect with Nature in the Winter! You are going to love this journal. It will help you to connect not only with Nature itself, but with you, which is the most important piece on our path to empowerment, allowing you to tune into what you need most, how you’re unfolding, and what the year ahead might look like for yourself.
Honor the Turning Inward
I encourage you to honor the turning inward. Reflect, renew, and regenerate for yourself, and understand that Nature is not unavailable just because it’s Winter time, the leaves have fallen, and there’s snow on the ground. There’s so much magic to be found in the Winter, and so many magical ways to connect with Nature to help us find it.
Thank you for reading. Be sure to order your Sacred Nights of Winter Journal.
For a video version of, How to Connect with Nature in Winter, watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7lfovS4nkE