Many individuals believe they need to start the year off with diets, eating more salad, exercising, doing juice cleanses, cleaning their entire house and filling up their schedule with other new year resolutions. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) says, hold off. This is not the time of year to fill up your schedule and fill up your bodies with cold foods. Winter is the time to retreat and go within to replenish your reserves. Exhaustion at this time of year is more harmful than during any other season. The season itself pushes us to stay indoors (since it’s cold) and go to bed early (the sun sets earlier).
As you are reading this, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I have a life. I can’t just go to bed early every night and sleep in every morning”. Yes, life does go on. Luckily, TCM has some tips to help us not overexert ourselves and help replenish our bodies for when we do.
- Eat all cooked foods. Include plenty of protein and warming foods such as soups and ginger.
- Instead of juice or raw fruits, eat cooked fruit adding spices like cardamom, ginger or cinnamon. Hot apple cider is nice too.
- Avoid spicy food. Salsa and curries seem warm but are used in hot climates to induce perspiration, which takes heat out of the body.
- Drink warm tea in lieu of coffee and alcohol.
Manage your stress:
- Schedule an Acupuncture treatment or a mini-stress treatment. Acupuncture can not only help manage your stress but can replenish your energy.
- Unplug from your electronics. This is especially important at least one hour before bed to promote deeper sleep.
- Reconnect with friends who nourish your soul and support you.
- Pamper yourself. Splurge a little. Take a longer shower or a nice bubble bath.
Starkey, Jamie. “4 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Chinese New Year.” healthessentials, 8 Feb. 2016, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/02/4-tips-happy-healthy-chinese-new-year/. Accessed 12 Jan. 2017.
Tierra, Lesley. “Start Your New Year off Right – Do Nothing!.” East West School of Planetary Herbology, 2017, https://www.planetherbs.com/lesley-tierras-blogs/start-your-new-year-off-right-do-nothing.html. Accessed 12 Jan. 2017.