Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Staying Warm

Having lived in subtropical Asia during the winter months for the past four years, I haven’t experienced the likes of holly or heralding angels, fudge or shopping frenzies, Claus or Christmas, in quite some time. And, I most definitely have not experienced cold snaps, preferring to soak my soul in the sun of India’s southwest coast. Life’s Mystery recently turned the tides, and this holiday season, I find myself back in the U.S.A.

Now, a number one focus of mine is embracing the colder temps while learning new ways of warming up. In addition to the physical realm of cold, it is also easier in the darker months to become emotionally cold, lonely and isolated. It’s a hard time to get moving – literally – and to take the initiative and reach out for fellowship. Candles, twinkling lights, and friends – these are the sources of warmth we can turn to.

Here are five fun ways I’ve found to raise my physical and emotional temperature. May they also warm the cockles of your heart!

1. Run, Run Rudolph

Get the heart beating and the blood pumping. Even 15-20 minutes jogging in the neighborhood, along the beach, or in the park will improve your warmth, raise your metabolism, and boost your mood. Tip: Lay out your running clothes and shoes the night before. Dress like a layered onion with hat, gloves, fleece, and leggings. Aim for 4-5 times a week. Enjoy noticing the difference between a cold and crisp day and a run between the raindrops. Breathe in prana, chlorophyll-rich air, and light. Photosynthesize yourself.

2. Light Up Your Life

Burn candles, even when it’s not a special occasion. Bring a candle into your cubicle or office space. Glance away from the computer screen and look at the bright flame every now and then to exercise the eyes and mix up the brain chemistry. A candle flame will also keep your immediate space a few degrees warmer AND suck moisture from the air if you’re in a damp room in a rainy area (as will incense). Tip: Trader Joe’s offers a lovely pack of six Danish-style, white and off-white taper candles for only $2.79. These are especially nice as they are self-extinguishing, and made of non-toxic soy.

3. Make Play Dates - and Keep Them

It’s hard to get moving and visit friends across town when it’s dark out so early, and cold and windy to boot. Bundle up and go see your buddies. Make a date to go to an art opening, an off-Broadway or off-Market theater piece, or tea house. Tip: Consider ringing a college pal or coworker you haven’t seen for years. Reminiscing is a great way to warm the heart and get the endorphins flowing; somehow, seeing them on Facebook doesn’t have the same face-to-face warming effect.

4. Shake It, Baby

Go dancing! Forget all the nonsense about it being too late to go out (I'm sure you can manage until ten or eleven), or not having the right outfit, or not feeling sexy enough to boogie. Any live band will do – buy a ticket and go with a girlfriend or gang. It’s not so important the circumstances: what’s important is that you get yourself on the dance floor and shake your thang. Move the body. There are plenty of bands who would love YOUR presence out there, even if you’re shimmying on your own in the corner. A night out dancing – it’s not just for clubbers or 20-somethings. Tip: The last three nights out, I’ve been gifted with free CD’s from the band or DJ. A fun souvenir, indeed.

5. Miso Happy

Buy a tub of miso and regularly make yourself a mug of soothing soup. Put a huge dollop (a heaping tablespoon) in a colorful mug and dissolve it up in boiling water – don’t boil the miso directly, though. Put a dab of ghee or butter in there, too. Add a pinch of sea salt, and a teeny pinch of paprika and/or cayenne. Sip it any time of day – it’s very nourishing and warming. Not only that, miso has been proven to detox the cells and keep your immune system up. Tip: Try Miso Master Mellow White, available at most health food stores. Experiment with adding dried seaweed strips or flakes.

Stay warm and bright, give and receive lots of hugs, and snuggle with animals, too!


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Erin Reese is a freelance writer, editor, and astro-intuitive healer. She works remotely with clients all over the world. Find out more on her magsite,

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