Early Winter

We’re heading towards December 21st and the shortest day now.

In Chinese medicine there are quite a few points of interest about this time of year.

In general terms it is a time of increasing yin with less light and warmth, and more rainfall.

In theory our behaviour should complement this by our taking more rest and relaxation, slowing down, taking stock and, crucially, getting to bed earlier for more hours of sleep.

Of course this doesn’t fit at all with our acceleration towards Christmas! It’s the season of late night shopping, Christmas parties and, for a lot of people, mounting stress from distant family members all homing in-or missing people who won’t be able to be present  at family Christmases any more.

Our coping strategy is often to take more stimulants to keep us going; warm, yang enhancing substances like coffee, spirits and chocolates. Unfortunately, in Chinese medical theory, this has the effect of depleting our yin, leaving us exhausted and vulnerable to colds and aches.

It might be worth banking some early nights, finding a good book and starting that long promised stretching routine.

I’m off to bed but I’ll write about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the morning!

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