6 Ways to Practice Rest & Renewal This Winter
Posted on January 18 2022
If you’ve followed Cultivated Candle Co. for a while, you know that we embrace winter for what it is. It’s a time to get cozy and shift our focus to proactively enjoy this darker season. It’s not the easiest task; Some of us struggle from the changing of the seasons more than others. This is why we set the intention to embrace winter every year at CCC.
We created the upcoming Rest + Renewal Collection candles to encourage us to look inward, reflect and take time to rest so we are ready to blossom when spring arrives. It’s important that this message comes at the start of the year. Our inspiration for this collection is also about resting to prepare for the entire year. We are all capable of big things and it’s amazing how growth accelerates when you take time to look inward.
So…As we all get excited for the Rest + Renewal Collection launch this Sunday 1/23, we’re sharing some ideas on how you can rest with renewal in mind this winter.
Set your intention
Make sure that your rest and renewal happens this winter by setting an intention. Depending on our personalities and preferences, the meaning of “ winter rest” will vary. For me, I like to take this time to rest from things that take a lot of my energy throughout the year, but I still work on myself and focus on the person I would like to transform into for the year. I set intentions to learn healthy recipes that can become staples in my home this year, spend less time scrolling social media, take up a new self-care practice like meditation and I read a lot about personal development.
That’s just me, so here are some ideas for how you can incorporate themes of rest and renewal in the coming months:
Sometimes our interactions with others can feel like an energy drain. But many times with the right people, it’s restorative and adds meaning into our life. Winter is a great time to focus and connect with the people who feel like sunshine, the people you care about and the people you’d like to have more of a relationship with this year. Listen to others and take time to hear their stories. A struggle for many of us is listening. Incorporating a practice of listening to others and truly hearing them is restful in itself. People have interesting things to say and you already know everything in your brain; Rest and listen.
I know, I KNOW, it’s cold…but listen ;) The benefits of nature exposure go far beyond coldness. Sunlight is vital to our health any time of the year. The act of viewing a sunrise and sunset outside can actually set our circadian rhythm to properly trigger our body to know when to have energy and when to be sleepy. We all know that sunlight makes us feel happier and there’s a biological reason for that! As humans, we need it to thrive. It can be tough to find sunny skies during winter, but take advantage of it when you can. In addition to sunshine, fresh air and physical movement are incredibly beneficial to our mood. The most important thing when going on a winter hike is to make sure you dress as warm as you would like. This will allow you to rest on your walk or your time in nature, fully taking in nature’s benefits.
Like I mentioned, I love taking this time of year to learn new recipes. Warm meals are even cozier in the winter and because we’re inside more, there’s more time to learn. When you have time, learning new recipes is fun and rewarding. That’s why I love doing this in the winter! If I mess up what I’m working on, that’s okay. This process is for fun because I know I’m testing ideas for the year. Whether it’s cooking or another hobby, winter is wonderful for learning new things.
There is no better way to look inward and rest than with meditation. It’s a true way to connect with yourself and calm your mind. Meditation may sound intimidating but the key is to start small. You don’t need to become a meditation guru who sits for an hour with a total absence of thoughts. Meditation can be short, it can be used in transitioning and it can be practiced through different forms, like journaling. I do a few meditation variations throughout the day.
In the morning, I journal and ask myself the following questions:
- What are three words that describe how I want to feel today?
- What am I excited for today? If I can’t think of anything, I add something to my day that I can be excited about.
- What may cause me stress today and how can my best self handle it?
These three questions set me up for a successful day because I’m taking time to be conscious and think about my day ahead of time in regards to how I want to feel. I learned this practice and the next one from High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard.
Throughout the day, I meditate between tasks. We are all busy and do many different things throughout the day. If you go task by task without a moment of rest, afternoon or evening burnout may hit you like a brick. I don’t know about you, but I like having lasting energy throughout the day. When I’m transitioning from one task to something completely different, I sit for a few minutes repeating the word “release” in my head. I allow the tension from the previous task to leave my body and think about relaxing my jaw, shoulders, legs, etc. Once I do that for a few minutes, I think about how I want to feel during the upcoming task. Once again, this prepares me to remember my “why” going into the next part of my day.
If I have the time, I’ll practice a longer meditation after my morning workout. This is usually a 10-20 minute meditation where I sit with my eyes closed and try to gently shift my focus if my thoughts start to wonder. I commonly try to focus on gratitude, think about how the universe works in my favor, think about bright light and other things that relax me. Basically for me, it’s anything that will get my normal thought patterns to pause. I like meditating after working out because 1) It makes the most sense in the structure of my day and 2) I like combining it with my post-workout endorphins. It’s super calming.
These are just a few ways I meditate, but I’m still learning and meditation is a skill I'm working to grow during this time of rest.
Just like mentioned with cooking and my meditation practice, winter is the perfect time to learn a new skill. Think about what you may be interested in this upcoming year and the skills that help with that. You can still rest while learning. Winter is an easier time to do this. So if you do decide to learn a new skill, do it with a rest and renewal mindset.
Books and cold weather? Ah, they just go together. Reading is meditative as a form itself. When we read, we become immersed in information that is new. This allows us to focus on something outside of our typical thought patterns. Whether you’re going with fiction or nonfiction, short stories or novels, or other reading variations, this practice is a win-win for winter. I’m a nonfiction fan, so I fill my winter months with books that help me grow. Reading allows us to rest and renew simultaneously, and I love that about it. I also love taking notes as I read and I take time to re-read passages that mean something to me. The key is to relax.
Ready, set, REST!
Whether you’re cooking, learning, reading, connecting, meditating, spending time in nature and beyond, the most important part about this season is to find comfort, rest and joy as we prepare for sunnier seasons ahead. Take time to know yourself, what works for you and build a rest plan around that. Connect with yourself and stay true to you. Remember to be gentle with yourself.
I hope this blog is helpful in planning for a restful and renewing winter. We are so excited to continue to celebrate the season with you, starting with the Rest + Renewal Collection launch this weekend.