|Posted by earthygirl81 on|
Welcome Winter! Today is your day.
Its the first day of Winter and Solstice. The days get shorter, colder, and darker outside. This can take a toll on many of us, especially mentally. Todays blog is meant to help you understand the underlying reason why many of us suffer from increased depression, anxiety, and fear during the winter months and how to support yourself during this time.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we are now entering the season of the Element Water and the Organs of the Kidneys and the Bladder. The connection between Water and Kidneys makes sense even in the Western thought of the Organs. Here the Kidneys are all about maintaining the body's fluid balance, water. Looking through the lens of TCM we see the organs as more energetic and connected to nature and the seasons.
In simple terms, our Kidneys hold our ancestral energy/jing/lifeforce passed down from our parents. This is the element and Organs in charge of the persons Will/Zhi, the sexual energy, and vitality in the body. Our Will is our personal motivation, that energy that helps us get shit done! The Element of Water has the ability to flow through and around all obstacles that it encounters. When are Water Element is out of balance or deficient we have a lack of will or ability to overcome obstacles in our lives.
Other aspects of the Water Element are its flavor of salt- which we know is also involved in fluid balance in the body, color black-think how we have darkest days of the year during this season, cold, direction of north, sound of groaning- like when we are extremely tired and have no vitaily, smell is putrid, body parts and orifices of the bones, bone marrow, ears, urethra, anus, & genitals. It manifest in the hair on the head, and it connected to the emotion fear as your adrenals sit on top of the Kidneys and release the hormones associated with fight, flight, & freight.
Thinking about water from a psychological, Freudian/Jungian perspective, I can see the connection between it and the subconscious. As the depths of the water pulls us down into ourselves into our most deepest and darkest fears- our subconscious. This is the same thought that TCM has regarding the Winter season and Water Element. It is the time for reflection, introspection, & hybration into oneself. The Water freezes and we become (or should) less active, slow down, and retreat to gather and preserve our strength the harshness of winter.
I have been taking about fear on my blog lately and how it feels like it is in the air. Because it is! Winter is here, you can keep running and fight nature or slow down and accept it and your truth. Its scary for us, even me, to slow down and take time for self-reflection and to get intune with our own selves. We typically hurry through our days running and hiding from pain and discomfort until the body manifest something and we can no longer able to escape ourselves. Fearful thoughts and emotions may come to the surface during this time, below are some nutritional and natural suggestions for embracing this winter season with grace & ease.
Nutrition & Supplement Support: Eat all cooked foods! Soups are wonderfully healthy and great all winter long. Foods to include in your diet: Parsnips, Squash, pumpkin, kale, mustard greens, butternut squash, beets, chards, winter squash, carrots, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, bell peppers, green beans, onions, leeks, green onions, fermented kimchi/sauerkraut/vegetable, beets, turkey, chicken, eggs, trout, lamb, duck, wild salmon,tilapia, kidney beans, black beans, legumes, adzuki beans, some beef , shrimp, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, fig, peach, grapes, dates, cherries, coconut meat, raisins, lemons and lemon water, oats, brown rice, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, goats milk and cheese, and coconut milk.
Think black foods and Kidney shaped foods associated with the Water Element.
Limit: raw cold foods or drinks (its cold lets keep you warm), sugar, and coffee.
Make sure and get enough B vitamins and D3 in your supplements.
Herbs & Spices: basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme,cumin, anise, dill, garlic, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, parsley, turmeric. These are available in tea, tincture, and capsules form at your local Natural foods store: Valerian Root, Kava Kava Root, Chai Tea, Eleuthero, Turmeric, Maca Root, specific herbs/formulas if needed.
Essential Oils: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cedarwood, sweet orange, lavender, & chamomile.
Lifestyle: Allow time to slow down and reflect, practice gratitude, journal, protect and keep your lower back warm- extra layers of clothes around this area or a haramaki are available as well, therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, spiritual practices, reiki, mediation, going for a walk, spending time in nature, acupuncture, exercise appreciate for your body, and get plenty of rest.
*Always consult a Herbalist and your Physician before taking any herbs and/or supplements.