As we reach the end of 2020, I find myself torn between frantically responding to the changing needs of the world around me, and hiding under the duvet! This has been an exceptional year for all of us, and whilst I’m by no means on the verge of burn-out, I must admit I’m a little weary. Last week I realised that I’ve only actually had 3 days of proper, restful holiday this year! The same may go for you – holidays and lockdowns have blended together, and staying home has left the edges of our working day looking somewhat blurred.
So whilst on the one hand I’m keen to get everything set up for the new year, around me I notice nature is getting ready for bed. The trees outside my window are almost bare. There are fewer birds and animals about, and it’s getting dark at 4. Our ancestors would likewise have retreated inside around now, as there would have been little in the way of food, and their time was best spent resting away from the harsh winter cold. For millennia, they would have been in semi hibernation, reflecting on the year gone and anticipating the year to come. Most would have been completely unaware of any calendar year as we know it, and certainly wouldn’t have planned resolutions for 1st January!
What Happens When We Don’t Live In Harmony With The Seasons?
For years I’ve had Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes worse than others. One year, when I lived on my own, I was particularly poorly with it. I realised then, that if I could stay home until spring, with some good books and essential supplies delivered to my door, I’d have been perfectly happy. My misery came from having to continue with normal life despite the desperate need to hibernate. I’m still fairly sure that having SAD is largely a call to reconnect with the changing of the seasons, and to live in tune with them as best we can. Since I’ve learned to love the relative tranquility and coziness of winter, I’ve felt much better.
But it’s still not enough. With regard to my work, I find myself following the ‘norm’, frantically planning for next year and blindly following the ‘snooze or lose’ mentality. Whilst I know exactly what to do and how, I honestly don’t have the energy, and now simply doesn’t feel like the right time. I need to hibernate, but I know that by March I’ll be on fire again, as it’s by far my most productive time of year.
How I Work In Harmony With The Seasons
So over the coming year I’m going to experiment in working more in tune with the seasons. Closing altogether is out of the question (I wouldn’t want to anyway!), but the big projects can wait. Spring will be spent sowing their seeds, summer nurturing them to fruition, autumn on reaping the rewards, and winter will be for rest and refection. I’m hopeful that this new way of working will feel more aligned with the energy of each season, and with everything my herbal practice stands for: a love of nature, and authentic living.
What could you do to live more in tune with the seasons over the coming year? Some spring foraging perhaps? A wild swim next summer? Join my mailing list here and be the first to find out about forthcoming courses that might help you reconnect with nature.
Image courtesy of Chris Lawton on Unsplash.