The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018
Attuning to the changing energies of nature as the seasons shift is an ideal way to engage in spiritual self-care. This way you aren’t fighting the energy of the world around you, wondering why you feel restless.
We tend to think of seasons as having definite beginnings and ends, which isn’t at all true. They blend from one into the other, and while on one hand this is a lovely metaphor for change in life, it can also be a source of stress. When do you put the winter boots away? What do you do when there is still a foot of snow on the ground but it’s 50°F outside?
The key is to celebrate the blur, the lack of defined beginning and ending. Celebrate the shift instead. Focus on the transition itself. To flow with the transition, slowly shift over your decor and wardrobe with mindfulness.
The energy of the year shifts as the seasons change. Noticing this and allowing yourself time to consciously adjust to those shifting energies can help reduce stress. Different seasonal energies can call for different methods of self-care:
♦ Self-care in winter: Think heavy blankets, cozy clothes, deep comforting smells, candles scented with spices and pine, eating richer and filling food, drinking hot or warm drinks. Watch snowfalls and have snowball fights or go ice-skating. Your outdoor time may be minimal, depending on your geographic location and the severity of the weather, but enjoy what you can in whatever way appeals to you.
♦ Self-care in spring: You like to still be cozy, but not as deeply. Lighten up your self-care, both literally (lighter wraps and bedspread, foods, and drinks) and figuratively (swap heavier scented candles for lighter herbal ones, and so forth). Enjoy lighter teas and warm drinks. The weather may be more accepting of increased time spent outdoors.
♦ Self-care in summer: Reach for very light wraps of cotton or linen, and enjoy the breeze and warmth of the sun. Use sunscreen! Enjoy cool drinks, gazpacho, salads with lots of vegetables in them. Stargazing is a lovely activity.
♦ Self-care in autumn: Reach for light sweaters and covers again, wear dress boots, fingerless gloves, and looped light scarves. Wrap your hands around light, warm beverages, and return to preparing soups and stews. Enjoy the special kind of golden sunlight that belongs only to fall, and engage in outdoor activities like apple picking.
There are two different ways that seasons are marked: the calendar date, which is generally between the twentieth and twenty-second of a month, and the actual sense of the season arriving. There is a difference between the first day of winter and the first winter day, after all. Sometimes it may be appropriate to perform a ritual or attunement on the calendar date; other times, you may feel moved to do it earlier or later in response to an environmental cue, such as the first robin of spring or the arrival of seasonal weather.
When the weather is suitable, go outside into your yard or to a park. Wear the appropriate footwear and clothing!
What to Do:
1. Find somewhere that you feel comfortable. Close your eyes and take three slow, deep breaths.
2. Center and ground.
3. If you are wearing gloves or mittens, take them off. Crouch down and put your bare hands on the ground. Feel the temperature of the grass or earth.
4. Look around you. What do you see? What state are the trees in? The gardens? How would you describe the colors?
5. Journal your findings and feelings. How does this attunement feel different from your previous ones?
♦ After doing this for more than one annual cycle, you can start comparing your observations of a spring to the previous year’s spring, and that of any prior years. In this way, you can start to trace changes in your environment that you might otherwise never have noticed.