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Winter Solstice Self Care Rituals, Embracing Darkness

Here we are in North America where our days are short and our nights are long and dark. The following two weeks leading up to our winter solstice being the darkest, longest nights of the year.

Today when I opened my journal this quote

“A wound is the place where the light enters you”

jumped out at me.

It seemed to be very fitting for this time of year. A wound, which I believe most of us would consider as darkness, is where the light enters. The days leading up into the winter solstice can often be the most difficult with our physical, mental, and emotional bodies lacking the rays of sunlight and often lacking fresh air and sometimes exercise, because of the shorter days. If you happen to celebrate one or more of the many holiday festivities such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka, to name a few, you may notice the co-relation between this darkest time of year and each holiday’s tradition to shine light. This all happens in the days leading up to the winter solstice and the days proceeding the solstice. It’s a turning point for our Earth’s hemisphere. It’s a time of reflection on the year that has passed, and the new year ahead. It’s not only a time to consume (with all the food, shopping, boxing day sales, etc.) and take in more light because that is what we are clearly lacking…

But this time of year is of utmost importance to also make time (especially in these days leading up to our Earth’s turning point) to be with your darkness, to be with your wounds, and to allow all this beautiful, joyous holiday light to enter there. Allow the increased daylight after solstice to enter there. Allow this to be a time of transformation, a time of healing from the inside out.

If this is a completely new outlook on the holiday season for you and you are a bit lost on how to be with your own darkness, I have listed below a few simple self care rituals that I’ve integrated into my own life in the years that have passed to current:

✨ Journaling ~ Writing down what it is you are ready to let go of, as the new year approaches. In this new emptied space inside you, what form of bright light are you wanting to welcome in?

✨ Self massage, also known as Abyanga ~ Warm up your favourite body, face, or hair oil, maybe add a few drops of your fav essential oils, and whether your have 5, 10 or 30 minutes gift yourself a scalp, face or entire body massage. Be with yourself, even for 5 minutes, in a quiet place, with no distractions.

✨ Add warming essential oils to your diffuser, maybe with a hint of citrus for uplifting your spirits.

✨ When the sun is shining, even though it’s cold, get out there (not to go do errands) but to take just 20-30 minutes to nourish yourself with the sun’s healing rays.

✨ If you happen to be living in Vancouver, or have access to a labyrinth, it is a symbolic and meaningful ritual to walk through a labyrinth this time of year. It has been an annual outing of mine to join many others at Vancouver’s Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival.

Maybe you sit quietly in front of your burning Hanukkah candles, or your light up a Christmas tree and simply reflect, this may already be a beautiful self care ritual that you’ve practiced without even intending on doing so.

Wherever the darkness is, make time for reflection, and allow the light to enter ✨

Holi-day & Solstice Blessings 🙏🏻