By Deborah Hide-Bayne
I think nowadays we are a bit cut off from the seasons – winter was traditionally lived at a slower, more reflective pace; a time for contemplation and meditative indoor activities. Also, the daylight hours are shorter in the cooler months so there is literally less time to fit everything in.
Do you allow yourself to go at a slower pace in winter?
As well as being realistic about how much we can achieve in a day, there are also lots of benefits to be had by having a restful few months over winter.
A well-rested person has a stronger immune system, a better memory, more energy and creativity, is mentally and emotionally more stable and uses insulin more efficiently (which can help with weight loss).
With all of that on the table, why let work or your daily schedule at home with your children rob you of all those benefits?
Resting doesn’t necessarily mean being on your own. For many of us, time on our own is in very short supply. Rather, resting can be about finding moments of harmony within the home. Sometimes I feel that I don’t have time to do all the jobs I need to around the house and cope with my child needing my constant attention; it’s frustrating for both of us. However, I’ve discovered over time that the most exhausting part is often fighting for time on my own, when actually putting all the jobs to the side for a little while and doing a shared activity with my child or family can be a much more restful and positive experience.
One winter evening not so long ago, we could all be found in the same room playing gentle games or scrap-booking, mending and knitting, planning our garden by looking at seed catalogues and gardening books, or reading aloud. It was truly one of the most restful evenings I can remember, and it didn’t involve any of the things I would normally say were essential for relaxation.
I’ve written several books about the New Zealand lifestyle and activities for both inside and out that you can have a go at as part of a sustainable and creative lifestyle. Have a look here.