Winter – A time for Self-Care and Reflection?

Winter – A time for Self-Care and Reflection?

Everyone needs self-care

Last week I received a newsletter from someone I knew 30+ years ago. It was interesting to read a message that I have shared in different words,(not nearly as poetic! ) about the need for self-care in our lives.
An excerpt from David’s email:

“Pushed by ceaseless demands from all directions, it’s easy to deny the significance of the winters in our life, especially in a world that measures progress and worth by external success, growth, and productivity. Yet after every autumn, there’s a winter. After every harvest, there is a need for rest. After opportunity comes dormancy. After expansion comes retraction.
For those of us who live in northern climates, winter can cast a multitude of responses. There are winters of sadness and loss, winters of contemplation, winters of personal and economic recession, winters of rest, winters of disappointment, winters of darkness, winters of boredom, and, of course, if you are a skier, there are winters of celebration.
Whether short or long, I’m learning to flow with winter instead of fight it. Before I understood the vital importance of winter in the cycles of life, when winter was here I would wish that it was summer. When things were difficult, I wished they were easy. Since then, I have learned that wishing for it to be different was actually creating the problem. Now, instead of wishing it were easier, if I just stay present to what is here, then I somehow find value in what the difficulties and dormancy are bringing me. In this way, the dormancy is transformed into a gift.”

(© 2010 by David Irvine

A day of rest is self-care

His writing reminded me of one of my favorite books given to me by a nursing colleague, “Sabbath, Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest”, written by Wayne Muller. Muller explores the tradition of ‘sabbath’ across world religions, and suggests that not only can we look at Sabbath as a day, but as a moment, as a breath in time, set apart to rest. This too is self-care.

In Victoria we have had an unusual cold spell, and the snow has lasted at least four days! Yesterday the wind was howling, and the snow was flying. It was beautiful. It was especially beautiful as we have a lovely wood fireplace, and it does a great job of heating our home. It was so beautiful that we were unable to leave it at bedtime and decided to camp in front of the fire to sleep last night. The glow from the fire was beautiful. It was a great end to a day of self-care, dormancy, and reflection.

Happy Winter,


#PalliativeCare #SelfCare

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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