How To Strengthen Your Mind-Body-Soul Connection In Winter

Photo: Javier Pardina

The first big snowpocalypse has hit the East Coast, and it's safe to say winter is officially here. With this new season comes a beautiful moment to get grounded. But what does that really mean?

Grounding is a state of being emotionally and physically balanced with the earth and your body. When you are grounded, you can identify more emotions, see more signs, and feel like you have more space to live and breathe. Staying grounded regardless of the energy or chaos around you means standing your ground and knowing your truth.

Just as bears hibernate in the winter, the chillier season is a chance for us to go inward and get reflective with ourselves. Winter sets the foundation for the rest of the year, representing a moment to plant metaphorical seeds that we'll harvest in the months to come. I don’t know about you, but I want to be sure I get those seeds deep in the ground so they don't fly off into the air!

This winter, fellow health coach Leslie McDonald and I created a group of guides to help you get grounded using food, meditation mantras, crystals, and more, called Rooted With Love. Here are three of our favorite tips for connecting to yourself and your planet this season.

Intention setting to ground the mind.

Our thoughts are just as powerful as our words. What we think, we become, so let's keep intentions positive and focused this year. You can set intentions whenever you want—when you meditate, journal, create a vision board, practicing yoga, or cooking a meal. Identifying your intention before you start something will help you get clear on what exactly you want to get out of it. Intentions drive your action, so make sure that they are not forced. Intentions can always change—and in fact they should—so you don’t get stuck in a moment.

Intentions can be big or small. Just don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what it is you want. This universe is abundant, and so are you. You do not have to live in fear or in lack. Set yourself up for success; this is your life.

Sound to ground the soul.

As the legendary Deepak Chopra says, "The body is held together by sound. The presence of disease indicates that some sounds have gone out of tune."

According to a 2007 survey of nearly 2,000 American health care facilities, 35 percent of them offered some sort of music to patients. And for good reason. Music therapy has been found to help ease the symptoms of everything from schizophrenia to Parkinson’s to depression and anxiety. That's because music calms the nervous system and instantly connects us to another time and place.

In the winter months when it's cold and harder to get around, something great to do at home is turn on some tunes, take off your socks, and dance! Dancing to music awakens the soul, and doing it barefoot connects you with the earth. Take some time to make a playlist to match the mood or intention you are setting.

I like to choose songs that have a strong mantra and positive message. A few of my favorites right now include "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police and "You’ve Got the Love" Florence and the Machine.

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Food to ground the body.

Root veggies grow underground and depend on the earth for nourishment and growth. Why not work more of them into your diet to feel a little more connected to Mama Nature?

When we think about wintertime grounding, it's all about the root and sacral chakras. The root chakra is ruled by the color red, and the sacral is ruled by orange, so you will want to keep your diet rich in these colors. Think butternut squash, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and more. One of my go-to recipes this season is this sweet potato hash. I love to eat it alone or topped with an egg for a hearty breakfast or some wild fish for dinner:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped
  • ½ cup lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

Preparation:

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. When the pan is hot, add chopped onion and pepper.
  3. After 2 to 3 minutes, add chopped sweet potato and sauté until soft (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  4. When the sweet potatoes are almost done, add the lentils, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and chili flakes if desired.

For more wintertime insight, check out this guide to holistically preparing your mind and body for the season. And don't forget to stock up on plenty of clean-burning candles and cozy socks.

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