Winter Solstice – A Time for Reflection
Winter solstice signifies a time to find stillness in ourselves where we can reflect on the year behind us. For me, Winter Solstice represents the beginning of a season of going within – a time of journaling and self reflection. I look over my journals from the past year or years to see how far I’ve come. This is when I discover the challenges I’v overcome AND the moments of joy. My favorite part? Staying in, usually in my PJs or sweats (no bra!) – warm and cozy, while the weather outside is cold and dreary.
If you need to get away to spend time in self reflection, join us for one of our January retreats. I love the silence and beauty of nature on the retreat grounds at this time of year. Things are quiet around here, as our staff stays home for the holidays, and for me personally, it’s a time to reflect on all the lives that have been touched over the last 12 months at Retreat in the Pines. I’m grateful to be able to offer women a place to find stillness and sanctuary where they can get away for a weekend of rejuvenation and self-care.
Earlier this month, I shared my thoughts on stillness and the value of taking a pause. During the winter solstice, I encourage you to use that particular moment of stillness for reflection. A few ideas on how to do this mindfully:
- Write it in your gratitude journal. When you take time to consider what you’re grateful for – and write it down – this mindful exercise allows you to approach the end of the year on a positive note.
- Go out into nature. Take a walk. Get outside. Even if there’s no “nature” near you, get outside and breathe fresh air, clear your head, and be alone with your thoughts and reflections for a few minutes. And don’t forget to bundle up if the solstice brings true winter weather with it!
- Practice yoga. According to Yoga Journal, the winter solstice “coincides with the sun’s ingress into earth-sign Capricorn, the sign traditionally aligned with the knees.” Move through a short yoga practice focused on the knees; holding poses like hero and yogi squat while focusing on an intention of reflection can help you clear your head while doing something beneficial in your body.
- Meditate. Using guided meditation or simply focusing on your breath or a mantra (such as stillness) allows you to calm your mind so that you may begin the journey of reflection.
- Practice Yoga Nidra. Attending a Yoga Nidra practice or finding one online, will calm your nervous system and slow down the fight or flight response that is so prevalent at this time of year, so you may find peace.
- Give yourself permission. Giving yourself permission to pause from the rush of the holidays and limit your social obligations so you may spend time with yourself is the exact nourishment that your body, mind and spirit need. This may be the most important of all.
This year, December 21 marks the Winter Solstice, the first day of Winter and the shortest day of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) – roughly translated as the day that the sun stands still.
We can take our cue from the sun, as we move into winter and the solstice approaches, finding stillness and taking time for reflection is an easy way to stay calm during what tends to be a hectic season. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for it.