Taking Care of Yourself in Each Season

November 8, 2022

I recently attended the seasonally offered Lunar Yoga series, led by Tami Rowh, MS RD/N CDN RYT. It was a reminder to me that humans are intimately tied to the cycles of our world. A rotation of the Earth; the moon’s path around us; a full orbit around the sun – we respond to these rhythms.

You may have noticed subtle changes in your sleep or eating habits as our days have gotten cooler and a little shorter. Some of us will begin to notice a change in mood. As the seasons shift, so should how we care for ourselves.

We are moving from Fall to Winter, how can you adjust your self-care plan to maintain wellness?  I’m not just talking about physical or even mental health, I’m talking about the whole package. In the words of my colleague, Nicolalita Rodriguez, LCSW, CHW, “We are multifaceted human beings and need to care for ourselves likewise.”

Nicolalita brought us the SPICES model for checking in on the different areas of our life: Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional, and Spiritual. When asked about it, she said, “who doesn’t appreciate a little spice(s) in their life?!” Agreed, which is why we get along.

Creating a seasonal self-care plan

In order to create your own spicey seasonal self-care plan, take a plain sheet of paper and fold it both horizontally and vertically so you have four quadrants. Alternatively, you can download the worksheet attached to the bottom of this blog post.

At the top of each square, write the name of a season (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring).

Down the left side of each square write

S

P

I

C

E

S

For each season, list one or two ways you take care of each area of your life – Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional, and Spiritual. Some of those activities might be the same or similar, but some may change. Nourishing our bodies could look different in winter than in spring. We might stimulate our minds in school in fall, but by catching up on our favorite novels in summer.

Two of the most contented places in the world, Norway and Denmark, experience what the rest of us might consider brutal winters. They each practice koselig or hygge, respectively. Nearly untranslatable words that emphasize coziness, togetherness and simplicity. Words that evoke images of “warm winter wishes.” The shift in mindset helps people not just endure, but daresay enjoy the cold. Suffering comes from fighting against the chilly days and long nights ahead. Peace is in acceptance and a little preparation.

If you are looking support through this season, please join Gather. We will be focusing on self-care at our November 19 group session. Sign up at https://bemindfulliving.com/events/

– Brianne Rehac, LMHC