Winter Wellness: time to relax and rejuvenate
As we transition through the Fall and Winter months, it’s important to be mindful of the changes in the climate and the effects this has on your body and mind.
With greater awareness, you’ll observe a number of shifts occurring in your daily rhythms. Most notably, perhaps, is that which occurs in response to the sun rising later and setting earlier. Traditionally, sunrise and sunset were the markers of our sleep and waking hours, with some suggesting that we’re in our most natural and harmonious state when our sleep cycles are in alignment with the rising and setting of the sun. In our modern world, we don’t usually have the luxury of planning our day around such natural rhythms. Yet despite our schedules and responsibilities, we can still enjoy new rituals that will allow us to be more in tune with the changes of the season, which will positively impact our health and well-being.
As you listen to your body in the colder, darker months, notice your energy levels and the tendency towards craving more rest. Notice that you may seek a slower pace of movement in order to conserve energy and you may gravitate towards activities enjoyed in solitude or that allow for introspection. There are many opportunities that support this change during the colder seasons. You may find that a long walk outdoors in the fresh air is more therapeutic than jogging or running. Or try restorative yin yoga or meditation practice, which could feel more supportive than a powerful style such as ashtanga. Even reading a book with a warm cup of tea may leave you feeling more replenished and renewed than a dinner out with friends.
In addition to our sleep and activity patterns, we can make the conscious commitment to nourish our bodies on a deeper level. Mindful selection of the foods we choose to eat can have a powerful impact on the strength of our immune system and the optimization of our digestive and circulatory systems. Introducing more root vegetables into our diets (foods such as beets, squash, and potatoes) as well as ayurvedic oils and butters (such as ghee and sesame oil) will help nourish and soothe the body from the inside out.
The Fall and Winter months are an ideal time to receive healing treatments such as a therapeutic massage or a moisturizing body wrap. The soothing and nourishing effects support not only the hydration of the skin, but also penetrate beneath the surface to support the mobility and fluidity of the muscles and joints.
Shizen, inspired by the Japanese word for ‘nature’, brings to you rich, indoor havens that offer a blend of ancient traditions and modern healing rituals. Within both the Cosmopolitan and Pantages Hotels, experience our signature seasonal services, massages, facials, body, nail, and aesthetic treatments that support your ultimate health and well-being. Hidden away from the urban bustle of downtown Toronto, you will finally discover a quiet moment of solitude and complete relaxation. We call this a Shizen Moment.
Jennifer Findlay is the Director of Spa at the Cosmopolitan & Pantages Hotels. She studied Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto, graduating with an Honors Degree in Kinesiology and Health Psychology. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, and former Competitive Figure Skater. Jennifer has curated and hosted Weekend Getaways and Wellness Destination Retreats around the globe.