There used to be a time, not too long ago in the grand scheme of things when the Earth didn’t illuminate up to space in the way it does now.
Electricity didn’t consistently flow. Instead, we were bound by the sun’s light to allow us to accomplish necessary daily tasks.
Electricity has allowed us to mimic the sun and provide light far past when the sun sets. With this light, we often work longer, stay busy longer and avoid the necessary shutdown that people had to abide by when the sun no longer gave light.
While this pastime feels far gone to us presently, systems within our body are far slower to adapt than we realize. And many of these systems have a ways to go before adapting to the hustle and bustle we all often find ourselves in.
Winter is a perfect example of this.
Do you find it harder to grind through the long days in the winter months? Do you find yourself overall feeling more fatigued than you are used to in the warmer months? Does rest seem more appealing than usual for you in winter?
Perhaps this is because your body is still wired to slow down. Less daylight used to mean less work, but we are far from abiding by that now. Perhaps the emotional weight that seems to set in during the winter is your body aching from carrying a load it’s not used to.
I’m not saying drop everything and do nothing. But, I am saying our bodies are used to different rhythms in different seasons. Whereas in our present day, we push our bodies in numerous aspects no matter the time of year or day.
Now, I’m implying here that rest would likely be beneficial to interact with more as we continually have less and less daylight. But, rest does not solely mean sleep. Rest may look like choosing to stretch instead of the usual cardio session, it may look like having a crockpot meal once a week so you can have leftovers the next night and not have to cook again, rest may mean having friends over at your house instead of choosing to go out or it may mean changing into cozy clothes as soon as you get home from work.
Whatever rest may be for you, if you find that it starts to feel as though there is an added weight on your shoulders that you are carrying, look at your day-to-day and see if you are pushing your body in the same way you do in the summer. And, if that is the case, then I challenge you to look for areas you can incorporate more rest. It may be just what your body is craving.
Kylie Larson, MA, LPC