… that everyone always forgets!
It happens every year; the weather gets colder and out come the sweaters, gloves, hats, boots… we bundle up against the cold and disconnect from nature. And who could blame us? In the winter, everything’s dead and dormant. What’s there to connect to?
The earth, our wonderful mother, doesn’t just disappear just because we can’t see her bounty. But that disconnect attributes to a plethora of health problems, from decreased immune systems, insomnia, stress and anxiety, and even Seasonal Affective Disorder and the “winter blues”. With the lack of sun and time spent in nature, we go inward and forget about our greatest healing ally.
Although there are things about the winter we can’t change – no fresh garden foods, less essential natural vitamin D, and it just gets so damn cold – we don’t have to forget all our warm weather habits that keep us healthy and connected.
Earthing is the practice of letting bare skin – usually & especially feet – touch the raw earth so we can connect physically and energetically to her healing and abundance. Its so easy in the summertime to go outside without shoes and get that connection, but as it gets colder, it becomes harder to manage. But just because we can’t spend the whole day with the grass between our toes doesn’t mean short stints here and there won’t have any benefit!
The science behind earthing has to do with the earth’s natural ionic charge, and how we, over time, due to modern conveniences and disconnection, develop the opposite charge – positive to negative – so that our energy becomes repulsed from the earth like magnets. Connecting to the earth, skin to skin, helps realign our balance. (For more science behind earthing, check this out!)
Earthing during the colder, hibernation months can help us:
- Have more energy in a time when everything slows down
- Increase our circulation to keep warm while its cold
- Reduce jet lag from all the holiday travel
- Fight inflammation (which can be caused from all that unhealthy holiday food)
- Normalize circadian rhythms, improving quality of sleep and fighting insomnia
- Reduce stress, both hormonally and energetically, during the hectic holidays
Its really easy to maintain an earthing practice during the winter. You can invest in one of the many pricey “earthing kits” available online, but I like to keep it simple.
To connect to the earth, you need to just that – touch the earth. And I do that by finding a spot cleared of snow and debris and standing for a few minutes at a time. Usually this is my driveway or a sidewalk, but sometimes I shovel paths through the snow (if there’s snow) for the cat and the kid to play, and there’s usually some uncovered grass under there somewhere. And if it hasn’t snowed where you are yet, or you don’t get snow – even better!
To keep your toes from frosting off, go outside in a warm pair of slip on shoes, or even slippers with soles. Remove them for a few minutes, walk around if you want to keep warm, and then go back inside to warm up. This is when I love to mix up a nice warm cup of herbal tea and soak my feet in a warm salt water bath. While not a substitution for earthing, the natural salt helps keep the energetic connection going, and is also super nourishing to your skin.
(Pro tip: if you can’t find time during the busy day to earth and soak, do it at night – you’ll have the added bonus of soaking up the moon’s rays as well!)
To boost that practice even more, consider adding a regular monthly Ionic Detox session (book one here!) – the salt water gets the added benefit of balancing out the ionic charge of your cells (just like earthing does), and it’s a great excuse to disappear for a half hour or so for some well deserved “me time”.
How do you maintain connection to the earth during the colder, dormant months? Sound off in the comments, or join the ongoing discussion in the Modern Day Magick facebook group.
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