We’re in a funny kind of in-between seasons here in Maryland. Just a week ago it was 7 degrees, and today the warm sun is tricking the buds on trees outside of my door to get ready to sprout and come alive. Even the sunlight is changing.
I’m recognizing it in myself too. In the mornings I’ve been ready to go, like an engine revving up. In the afternoons I am still sleepy – a wintertime sleepy that feels like cozy sweat pants, warm food and couch time. Then late night my engine kicks up again and the ideas begin to flow.
I’m noticing that this is an opportunity for me to really pay attention, to yield and listen. In this regard, wellbeing is how we tend ourselves in-between one thing to the next – in the transitions.
The transitions between each season can be confusing. It seems like even the flower bulbs are confused as they are popping up despite the ice pile just a few feet away. This is not much different than life in general. Often in a state of transition I hear myself saying things like, “I’m not sure,” or “I feel ungrounded.” There is something about this in-between-ness that is mysterious and maybe even uncomfortable, or unstable.
I started paying attention to my body these past few days, wondering what it is I need in order to ride this transitional wave we are on between winter and spring. On one hand, my mind has been very active and creative – especially at night. I want to move – fast – skip, jump and go. My muscles are asking me for more stretching and I haven’t been as cold. These are very springtime things for me. On the other hand, my eyes are heavy at 2 p.m. every afternoon and I am not feeling quite ready to make each day a social day in my calendar. I am sleeping later into the morning and the sunshine at an early hour is confusing to me every morning. My skin is still dry and itchy. I’m warmer, though not quite ready to give up my sweaters and tights. These are very wintertime things for me.
So, how to manage the transition gracefully? I’ve made some decisions to help guide me along so that I don’t hop out of winter too quickly nor jump into spring prematurely:
1) Keep exercise at a minimum – just a few times a week to keep moving. It’s not quite time for me to hit the gym 100% or add a new cardio class to my yoga repertoire.
2) Keep hydrated; use my humidifier to stave off dryness from turning the heat up indoors.
3) Get social and get out there within reason. There is no need for me to plan away every weekend night. 1 – 2 plans per weekend is just perfect. I can save back-to-back plans for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until March or April… or maybe even summer!
4) Get to bed a little bit earlier. It’s enticing to stay up chatting with my husband or being creative and it’s not necessary. I have an alarm on my phone set to go off every night at 10 p.m. to remind me to get in bed. I am going to start listening.
5) Make time each day for both activity and rest. I don’t have to rush to get everything in and done. If I have to hold off on laundry, groceries or email until tomorrow so I can sit quietly and read or stare out of my window – so be it!
How will you manage the transition? Are you listening to your body?