Winter Tension

In yoga class recently the teacher used a brilliant term: winter tension. I immediately identified with it and thought, “That’s what I have”, tension that is caused by winter and everything that comes with it. There is no doubt that cold weather creates tension in the body. Cold=tension! I mean, even just imagining the cold, we tighten up and clench physically. Dealing with snow and ice and all the inconvenient conditions, causes mental angst too. Dressing a child for a snowday is tense. Walking your dog for a snowday is tense. Getting to work on slippery roads is tense. Stupidly wearing your favorite silver earrings and, within minutes of stepping outside, feeling them freeze inside your earlobe, is tense! Winter tension abounds and I’m sure many of you can relate. The question is: aside from full-on hibernation, what can we do about it?

Be Aware
Simply being conscious of winter tension will take the edge off. 

Workout in a Cozy Environment
If you are doing exercise videos at home, turn up the heat or maybe change to a warmer space that gets some nice natural light. Yoga studios are great this time of year, especially Bikram. Those crowded gyms with blaring music, florescent lights and clanking machines might do more harm than good, adding to your winter tension. One solution perhaps, may be to go to the gym at a mellower time of day, when it’s less crowded.

Allocate More Time To Get From Here To There
Rushing causes tension. Being late causes tension. Since winter tends to cause more obstacles (i.e., finding and putting on your hat and gloves, shoveling, scraping off your car windows, icy sidewalks), plan for delays and avoid a race against the clock.

At the End of Your Day, Light a Candle, Soak in the Tub, and/or Drink Hot Herbal Tea
Some people may poop-poop this tip, but I am absolutely positively sure de-stressing stuff like this works some major magic. It will become something you look forward to all day!

And hey, winter tension is not in vain - there are at least three big benefits to it. For one, it makes us very grateful and appreciative of easy breezy summer days.  Two, it’s ultimately an opportunity to help out neighbors or be helped by neighbors. And last but not least, winter tension reminds us that Mother Nature reins supreme.