Over the 23 years I’ve been practising as an acupuncturist, I’ve got used to a continuous stream of patients coming through my door at this time of year full of gloom about the cold, the darkness, the ice, the snow – the sheer miserableness of winter. And in a bid not to lose rapport with these dear patients, I nod understandingly and offer morale-boosting treatments towards the end of January when it just feels like winter’s never going to end.
The truth is I love the winter – it’s summer I struggle with. But what I, along with most others, do find challenging is the fact that, especially around Christmas, it’s such a busy, hectic and often pressurised time of year. And that’s the problem, because what we really need to do in the depth of the winter is hibernate. Not literally, although I do know one or two people who would happily opt for feeding themselves up in advance of a few months curled up in a cosy burrow. But making an adjustment to the fact that the days are short and our body instincts encourage curling up by the fire and spending a lot of time resting.
Before the advent of electric light, winter was a time for packing up work early and gathering round the fire telling stories. A time for drawing on one’s reserves, and on the stores of food put away during the harvest. It’s not just a time of rest, it’s a time of great activity under the surface – when thoughts and plans can stew away gently below the level of consciousness, ready to burst into activity in the spring.
So I encourage everyone to find their own way of hibernating – my version is to take two weeks off work over Christmas and New Year, enjoy not having to set the alarm clock, and sit in front of the fire knitting.
Struggling with winter blues? Call Rosanna on 07970 295177 – and get a boost when you need it most.