Melbourne Winter: Photo credit: Aaron Maerz - Manager Care and Wellbeing - Bayleaf Wellness
This winter we’re more attuned than ever to the changing mood outside, given most of us are inside more than ever before. The daily walk for groceries has never felt so precious, the falling leaves never so cherished as when time feels like it’s standing still.
A hush falls over us in winter, a quietening – and there’s much to be gained from taking our cues from the seasons. So what can this winter teach us?
Slow – be still, and pay attention
This particular winter, we really don’t have a choice but to slow down – but there is grace to be found, however forced the slow down feels. We have the power to notice the beauty around us – and now the routines for a lot of us are completely turned around, the world doesn’t look quite the same anymore.
Are there things you’ve never noticed about your neighbourhood, your daily walk, your home that has now been given the space to shine and stand out? When we notice and cherish our place in the world, we feel part of something much larger.
Nourish - with slow cooked foods and earthy vegetables
Our bodies thank us when we gift them with fresh, seasonal produce - and winter offers up incredibly rewarding delights. Steam your squash and baby carrots, slow cook and roast your earthy potatoes & parsnips and serve up shiny sides of silver beet and greens glazed in garlic and chilli for a welcome kick.
Taking the time to find out what’s in season is a rewarding way to boost your immunity, especially important in the winter months – and batch cooking all those healthy soups and winter stews saves you future effort as well as making your dollar go further. Wins all round.
Ground - with simple daily practices
Whether it’s a daily cup of hot water and lemon before the rest of your house stirs to life, a few pages of a treasured book before bed, or a regular gratitude practice, incorporating regular habits into our routine can really be beneficial for our mental health.
It’s the quiet acts of self-care that go a long way toward feeling fulfilled, cherished and grounded.
Connect - with our inner selves
In the winter months we can take inspiration from nature to turn inward and build quiet fortitude for the more social months of the year. Are there goals you want to re-connect with, a passion or talent waiting to be discovered?
Now is the perfect time to check in with ourselves and explore with compassion, what we could do to create more capacity for joy, more space for growth, and more room for healing.
Return - to simplicity
Doing less is an active step – peeling back the layers of ‘should’ and deciding instead what you most want to do is a courageous and self-loving act. What better time to evaluate our own return to simplicity - can our time be spent better elsewhere?
Be it giving away possessions that no longer serve us or spending less time with those relationships that drain us, there’s many ways to both simplify and enhance our lives. Winter is the perfect time for quiet contemplation and inner introspection.
What have you been enjoying and learning this winter season? Tell us in the comments below.
Nikki Howie is a regular contributor to the Bayleaf Wellness Community. She’s a Melbourne transplant from sunny Queensland where she studied Law and Arts at Griffith University. You can usually find her enjoying Carlton Gardens, reading up on nourishing recipes and wellness practices, and learning to love running.