Are you Well-Rested and Ready for 2014? Why the Winter Solstice is Important.

Winter SolsticeHappy Winter Solstice!

For years I’ve been preaching to patients and students that they need to chill out and relax around this time of year. The ones that listen, really thrive.

Why is that?

The holidays were traditionally about pulling people out of a funk. In the Western tradition, peoples of the Northern hemisphere would hunker down after the fall harvest and dig their heels in for a long, cold winter. There wasn’t much to do (except make babies) so people would feel cooped up with cabin fever by late November or so. The holidays were a way to get people out of their depression and out with others- some stimulation please…

Today we live in an overstimulated world. There is no lack of information, connections, phone calls, texts, or work for us in the Winter. In traditional agrarian societies, when the harvest was over, you’d have to chop some wood and fetch some water here and there, but by and large, you were chilling out most of the winter. When’s the last time you chilled out?

We stumble through our years and keep fighting on and then have to drag ourselves to one holiday party after another- fighting lines and crowds at the mall trying to buy gifts for our loved ones. Does it sound exhausting? Well it should. How can we thrive through 2014 when we have not let ourselves properly close out 2013? We do this every year- losing Vitality, enthusiasm, and sleep each go-around.

So here’s the fix-

TODAY is the Winter Solstice. Today is the shortest day of the year…the darkest day. This is when the days start getting longer into the next cycle and giving us more light to carry us into a solid 2014. What are your goals for next year? Lose weight? Make more money? Start a family? Retire? You can’t do it without energy.

It is time to catch your breath. Hunker down and count your blessings today. Maybe take a salt bath. A nap? Sure- maybe a couple. Make this winter solstice weekend about being lazy and giving your body what it needs. I promise you, the health benefits are great but the psychological ones are even better.

Share this with the people in your life that NEED to hear this today and please…take some down time. We’re all so crazy busy nowadays that we forget to breath, check in, relax, and restore our energy when we’re supposed to. The bears hibernate. We can learn a lot from nature. Listen to your own inner nature and see what you feel like doing right now…I’m going for a nap :)

Winter Solstice- Learning to Rest at the Right Time of Year

The Winter Solstice is on December 21, 2012. It is celebrated by many traditions around the world and is the time when the days are shortest- a time for renewal, rest, and recovery. As it gets dark earlier, it reminds us to circle back in with ourselves and recharge our batteries so that we are not so much a slave to time. Yes- time. Time marches so fast in our modern cultures that we forget to slow down and relax…never recovering from the past year and expecting to have the same amount of energy into the following. That’s simply bad math. The Winter Solstice reminds us of what our ancient ancestors have known for thousands of years- namely, live in harmony with nature and thrive. When nature slows down, we should too. The darkness and the stillness are good for the soul and they help us process the heaps of information and problems we’ve amassed over the past year. As the light returns and helps illuminate the world more and more each day after the 21st, we can then use that energy to ride into a new cycle with fresh inspiration.


Here’s an article I did a couple of years ago on the subject that went viral and is still very relevant today-


It is time to align with mother earth and get into rhythm with the universal clock which we have evolved under. We are part of nature and our health and mental wellbeing tends to do better when we sync up with this. Many traditions have high reverence for the Winter Solstice as it is truly the real new year. Light returns and the sun gives us more energy daily- energy we can tap into if we’re rested and calm enough to ride that wave :)