by Ann Zimmerman, LAc.
After finding our farm truck with a dead battery due to a lack of use. I started reflecting on the balance point between resting (not too much or the battery dies) and resting enough to get a full charge on our life battery.
The hallmark of today’s culture is Speed–do more things at a faster pace. We often don’t rest until our batteries run out, or we get sick. Chinese medicine gives us the poetic language to describe this as a need for YIN. YIN is the restorative, quiet, still part of life. YIN is the night, and YIN is the winter time of year. We crave what is reflected in nature. And right now nature is underground, hibernating, and recharging her battery.
After this busy holiday time when we are having some of the longest nights of the year, how can we each honor our yin more? How can we take more time to rest deeply and to luxuriate in the stillness. To willingly sit still and let the pace of our culture pass us by while we choose to rest.
If more than 90% of illness is caused by stress, we can safely assume much of this is due to the SPEED of our culture and our addiction to doing things. I invite you to do less. Give yourself permission to take advantage of this quiet part of the year.
10 ideas for slowing down
1. Go to bed earlier
2. Have a nightly curfew for your phones/screens/media….off by 8 pm for example
3. Limit your phone use in time and frequency…check it 3x per day–max
4. Schedule less social engagements
5. Spend 20 minutes daily in a stillness practice
6. Exercise regularly, but less vigorously
7. Less caffeine and sugar
8. Sleep-in later
9. Take tonic herbs for your immune system
10. Use candle light, aroma therapy, body oils, and hot baths for restoration