Jennifer Lee, MS RD LDN
We’ve just experienced our first snowfall of the year. A quiet snowfall is beautiful isn’t it? When I was a child I used to love snowstorms because it was nature’s way of forcing us all to slow down for a moment. Something about a snowstorm brings out the kindness in us too.
As a little girl, perfect strangers at the grocery store would come up to my mother and I. They’d gleefully make conversation with us. They would smile and wish us luck as we trudged home through the storm. One time a man offered to help shovel out our car after we’d been parked for a while. Another time we got stuck in the road and a stranger pulled over to help us. Snowstorms remind me of how wonderful human beings can be to each other.
Winter used to be a time when New Englanders would settle down into hibernation. We’d rest after a long summer of hard work. But our modern society is different. We have to fight through the cold and keep on working. In a sense we are working against nature by trying to function at maximum speed during a time when we should be resting. It should therefore come as no surprise to us all how many of us get sick during winter.
Each time we leave our warm, cozy, houses to brace the cold, we create stress on our body and tax our immune system. Yet, as wonderful as it would be to hibernate for months like our ancestors did, we have to be realistic. We can’t just break away and do that. Nevertheless, if we aren’t conscious of how the cold impacts our body then we wind up resenting Mother Nature and her beautiful snowstorms. We curse her for our dry skin, chapped lips, runny noses and respiratory ailments that keep us awake at night.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to misinterpret Mother Nature’s beautiful snow as an apocalyptic sign to brace ourselves for the worst. We don’t have to fight winter and blame it for our colds. Instead, let’s take a look at snow as a gentle reminder from Mother Nature. She is telling us winter is upon us so we need to slow down, be kind to each other and ourselves.
Did you know that Yoga can help you through winter? Yoga helps you build and restore healthy muscle tissue in your body. Studies show that healthy muscle mass increases your immune system and the ability to fight infection. Yoga also helps reduce stress and calm the mind, which further keeps your body healthy and able to fight infection.
Just like a snowflake, you are one of a kind.