Blog: Life Fitness
Nesting: Lighten Up Winter's Dark Days, Beautify Your Space and Nourish Your Spirit
In Chinese medicine, fall and winter represent a return to the roots, a time of restoring and building our "chi" or energy for spring. Now that the holidays are over, especially as busy women professionals and entrepreneurs, we need to consolidate and conserve – and I can't think of a better way than to get in touch with our nesting instinct during the darker days of winter.
From now until spring, you'll be spending a lot more time indoors. Maybe you've still got the shreds of the holidays lying around – so instead of stumbling over them why not mindfully clear out your space and beautify it so it can support and nurture you? Make your home as warm, welcoming, and healthy as possible – and you'll nourish your spirit as well.
Here are 7 ways to get started:
1. Add accents. Spruce up your space with a few inexpensive additions that will make a cheerful impact on you. You may even have received some great holiday gifts that will fill the bill. Or just change things around. Unpack a colorful throw from the cedar chest to drape over the sofa, paint an accent wall in a bolder or richer color or frame some photographs and create a collage of your favorites.
2. Bring nature indoors. Don't cut yourself off from the natural world because the weather is frightful. Bring home some fresh flowers once in a while, or add natural accents like branches or leaves to bring the outside in.
3. Clear the air. According the EPA, the air inside your home can have 2 to 5 times the pollution level of the air outside. Pay extra attention to this during the long winter months. Leave your shoes at the door so you don't track dirt, mold, allergens and chemicals into the home. Add a few indoor plants to help clear the air (plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen). If you have any problems with mold during the wetter winter season, a solution of tea tree oil per cup of water in a spray bottle can be spritzed on the mold to clear it away.
4. Cut down on the clutter. Instead of stowing all the decorations, gifts, and trappings of the holidays, determine what you might be able to live without. You'll cut down on the clutter as well as create more space around you. Do the same for summer gear – now's a great time to go through and see what you can eliminate before next season. Recycle, donate, or sell your unwanted and pack the rest away.
5. Perform your own kitchen and pantry triage. Clean out your cupboards and fridge. Use up what's there, throw out the old and expired foods and assess what you need to create healthy meals for you and your family. Now's a great time to get rid of any holiday foods you received as gifts that you'll never use or the items you bought for parties that you probably won't use until next year. In addition to stocking up on healthy items (visit my website for my Shape Up Your Kitchen ebook and find out how to create a healthy pantry, what to buy and how to store it!), make sure your kitchen appliances are running well and clean out and degrease your oven.
6. Bump up your self care. Wick up your fitness regimen a bit to keep you motivated during the winter months. If you walk, walk more briskly or add some skipping intervals. Switch up your weight training program and add some stretching – like yoga practice.
7. Get cooking! One of the best ways to make your house feel warm and inviting has nothing to do with decorating. Start cooking! Break out a new recipe or cookbook you've been meaning to try and start sautéing, baking, and boiling! Nothing creates a cozier atmosphere, especially when it's cold and dreary outside, than the smell of a home cooked meal. One of the great treats of my week is visiting my friend who is a professional chef – she's always whipping up something wonderful in her kitchen!
posted on: 1/20/2010 10:30:00 AM by Robin Stephens
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Hello, I'm Robin Stephens -
your "M"power coach! The "M" stands for Mind -
because that's where all change begins!
I'm a professional organizer, certified
personal trainer and lifestyle management coach.
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