Self-Care in Late Winter

Snowdrops near Okehampton If you have a window ajar morning or evening, you will notice that the birdsong is becoming more enthusiastic, and the snowdrops, crocuses and camellias, are bringing colour back to our gardens. The energy within us which had lain deep and still through December and January, is stirring, and like seedlings beneath the soil, we feel the first signs on slightly warmer days, of an awakening within.

Lambs near Crediton If over the next few weeks you like to sow seed, you will know the importance of adhering to the recommended planting depth, for each seed only contains sufficient energy to journey to the soil surface from that depth. Similarly, we only have sufficient energy to reach the spring intact, if we continue to pace ourselves carefully over this final phase of winter.

Around the boundary between late winter and early spring, people can feel unexpectedly tired: we have survived the coldest and darkest part of the seasonal cycle, and our batteries can accordingly feel a little flat, but a proper re-charge is still a little way off. Traditional Chinese advice is to continue to get plenty of sleep, and to adhere still to a winter-based diet of warm, cooked foods. As a scattering of milder days come to Devon, we should not be tempted to leave off too many layers of clothing: warm weather when it is still relatively early in the year, catches the body out, and as a result of going out in only a t-shirt, we can come down with a cold.

Late winter crocus at Robin's acupuncture clinic in Exeter KeepingĀ in mind these simple measures from traditional Chinese medicine, should help you to reach springtime in good shape, and with a sense of rising vitality.