Wintering water colour painting

Recently, the term Wintering came to my attention as I struggled with a lack of physical energy and sleeping a lot (at this stage of my life – that is a surprise). As the sunlight decreased and the days became darker, I also gravitated to nourishing food and sugar (oh man, sugar does carry the illusion of comfort). I started to wonder if there was some universal earthly reason for this transition as the season was changing to winter.

The term “wintering” can metaphorically describe a period of rest, reflection, or solitude in one’s life. It can be experienced as a time of physical and emotional hibernation, allowing for self-care, introspection, and personal growth. It is the recognition that periods of rest and reflection are essential for long-term resilience and flourishing. Below are a number of concepts to understand what is included in wintering:

Rest & Self Care

This can include activities promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being, such as exercise, proper nutrition, relaxation, and joy.

Reflection & Introspection

This is the practice of looking inward and reflecting on one’s thoughts, feelings, and life experiences, leading to a deeper understanding of personal values, goals, and desires. This can be writing thoughts down, discussing with loved ones and expressing with creativity.

Solitude & Hibernation

This involves slowing down, taking a break from routines, and allowing the body and mind to rest and recuperate. This involves getting more sleep, adopting a healthier lifestyle (setting boundaries) and time away from strenuous tasks.

We acknowledge that many plants and animals enter a dormancy stage in the natural world. This act of dormancy is a direct response to challenging conditions such as cold weather or scarcity of resources, and the purpose is to conserve energy and increase the chances of survival in the elements. I wonder, for us humans as we exist in this very challenging time in our history, could this winter be an opportunity to be dormant and hibernate in the effort to prepare for more favourable conditions to return.

Is it Possible to Enjoy This Winter? By Katherine May