Updated: Jan 3, 2020
In Chinese Medicine, Winter represents the Water element.
Water is the source of all life, and in Chinese Medicine it is symbolic of how we manage our own life force—a well of resources not to be tapped dry.
Winter is the time of year that encourages humans and all animals to retreat from the “doing” of the year to go deep and BE. Be more quiet, slow, and still.
Take the cue from the water element to manage your resources, to be careful not to waste your energy on things or activities that are excessive and leave us feeling depleted. This is important to identify what you want to spend your energy on and to gauge when you need to retreat and rest.
The organ systems that correlate to water and the winter season are the kidneys and the bladder. The kidneys are our foundation of energy in the body, they hold our deep reserves of life force. Sitting on top of the kidneys are the adrenal glands, the foundation of our hormonal system responsible for regulating energy and sleep. Have you heard the phrase “adrenal fatigue”? This happens when we use up more resources than we have. In the colder months follow these simple guidelines to conserve your energy and manage your resources:
*Cook with bone broth, vegetable, or meat broth.
Use nutrient-rich broths as the base of any soups, stews, or sauces. Broth contains many essential nutrients that supply your bones with the trace minerals they need.
*Consume beans, particularly kidney beans and black beans.
*Add salt. A moderate amount of unfiltered sea salt can be a significant source of trace minerals. However, too much sodium (like that found in processed foods) can be damaging to the kidneys, please choose wisely.
*Protect your lower back and lower belly from cold exposure. Cold can cause stiffness in joints, pain in the lower back, and be a factor with menstrual cramps.
*Reduce your daily coffee intake. Caffeine essentially steals tomorrow’s energy, pushing the gas pedal to the floor.
*Hydrate. Staying hydrated is one of the simplest things you can do to maintain health, as it helps your body easily sustain all of its functions.
Learn to be still, reflect in the quiet, and choose wisely in how you manage your resources.