The upcoming season is a season of paradox. Cooking, planning, gift giving and holiday celebrations keep us hustling and bustling. The colder weather, especially in the northern parts of the country, slows us down and creates the desire to snuggle up in front of the fire, binge-watching TV.
Thanksgiving kicks off the season with a day full of food, family, fun and more food! But before you can curl up on the couch in a turkey coma, Black Friday appears to remind us that it’s time to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. This year, though, Thanksgiving and Black Friday also share something in common – November’s full moon.
Called the Beaver Moon, it will crest on Friday, November 23 at 12:39am EST, but for many in earlier time zones, it will show itself on Thanksgiving evening. Regardless of when it appears, this full moon signals the start of winter. It also gets its name from the Native Americans who used the monthly full moons as a way to track the seasons. They named it after the beavers because they are most active this time of year, industriously building their lodges and feverishly preparing for the long winter ahead.
We human “busy beavers” are no different right now. The shorter days and colder nights cause us to feel like we need to get more things done before the sun goes down, prepare and heat our homes, and pull out our winter wardrobe. With all the pre-winter preparations and upcoming celebrations, now is a perfect time for one more preparation – getting our minds, bodies and spirits ready for the season to come.
Below are five tips to help prepare yourself for winter:
With the season changing, so should your kitchen. This is the time to stock up on nourishing, winter-friendly foods like squash, potatoes and pumpkin. They are perfect for making warm, filling soups and stews to help fight off the chill. It’s also time to keep all your favorite baking items on hand just in case you need to whip up a batch of holiday cookies. And don’t forget about spices. Keep cinnamon, cloves, ginger and garlic on hand to season both sweet and savory foods. They will help to warm you inside and fill your home with amazing scents.
Wintertime can cause dry skin and chapped lips. Make sure to stock up on moisturizing lotion or cream, along with balm for soothing lips. It’s also a good idea to have a dry brush for exfoliating skin. And if you have a bathtub, scented oils and salts are nice for all-over skin softening. Winter is also cold and flu season, so it’s wise to keep medications on hand just in case.
With colder weather comes ice and snow. With ice and snow comes safety hazards. Avoid any issues by having salt or sand on hand for de-icing walkways. Make sure to have a sturdy shovel and, if needed, your snow blower is tuned up and ready. Your outdoor spaces include your vehicle, as well. As a precaution, get it inspected and check the tire treads. An ice scraper, jumper cables, blanket and emergency kit are all necessary items to keep in your vehicle this time of year.
With all the hustle and bustle of the season, don’t forget to make yourself a priority. Relaxing by a fire with a warm drink, lighting a cinnamon-scented candle and reading your favorite book or knitting can do wonders to relax your mind. And remember that this is supposed to be the most magical time of year, so embrace it by driving around looking at Christmas lights or baking holiday treats. Find something that will make you smile and enjoy the season. Another idea to prepare your mind for winter is restorative yoga. The slow, quiet movements will give you a calm, focused mind to prepare for the quick pace of the holidays.
Join a gym. It’s the perfect time before all those with January 1st resolutions decide to join. Physical exercise not only keeps you fit, but it helps beat the winter blues. When cold weather hits, it’s harder to keep up with exercising, but even a brisk walk outside can feel invigorating. And don’t forget about yoga – it’s not only good for the mind but it’s great exercise for the body.
Winter is a time to slow down and reflect on the past year. But it’s also a time to celebrate, indulge and plan for the new year ahead. Whatever this season brings, don’t forget to be prepared. This will allow you to spend quality time with family and friends and feel ready for what the “most magical time of the year” has to offer.