Cocooning: Winter Self Care
The warmth of summer and it’s longer days have waned. After the comforts of autumn and the bustle of the holidays fade, a new year greets us and we start to settle into a new solstice. It is a slower season in which we can focus on self care, sanctuary, intimacy and connection, as well as filling our wellsprings with inspiration to fuel us for the whole year.
“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it’s sweetness.” -John Steinbeck
Winter, in it’s own turn, can become a dear friend to us, a natural tug to turn inward. It is a season where we find rest, renewal, and reflection to fuel us. This is a perfect time to give yourself some space and grace.
“Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.” - Nikki Rowe
We can spin ourselves a cocoon to insulate, heal, and renew. The silkworm’s cocoon is soft and pliable yet as strong as steel. This time of cocooning is a perfect opportunity to cultivate new ideas, to be present in a moment, to embrace our vulnerabilities, rumble with our thoughts, and to fill ourselves with inspiration. We can practice the art of creating intimacy by learning to sit in the stillness with ourselves.
“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, breath of the fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and the colors fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode, There are no wrong answers. Inspiration is everything. Sit back, relax, and take it all in.” ~Jac Vanek
We can use this season to create and enjoy simple rituals for ourselves. Perhaps that’s in nourishing our bodies with a dry brush and salt scrub, lighting a lovely candle, or slipping on a cozy sweater and slippers as we settle in for the night. We can let the stillness soak into our bones through long baths, hot tea, and good books.
“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside, candles at 4 o’clock, warm hearth rugs, tea, a fair tea maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without. “ -Thomas De Quincey
We won’t only find solaces by the fire, but also out in the grandeur of nature. Making time to take walks, go foraging, and get outside can be the ultimate creative wellspring. Take in the crisp air, notice winter’s fingerprints in the icy ponds, enjoy the second life of the dried flowers and grasses. Plan your adventures in the cleared vistas of winter, and return to the fireside to savor the beauty you were enveloped in and dream. If we take time to see these beautiful, delicate moments it can inspire us. Taking time to look for beauty in everyday simplicity stills the fleeting for even just a brief moment. Be curious and quiet ourselves so we can open our eyes to the opportunities for wonder and awe that otherwise would be lost in our hurried pace.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”- John Muir
Once we have made our sanctuaries and filled our wells, we make ourselves open to community and connection. We are able to take time to be present with those we love and strengthen our connection while also building our sense of kinship and belonging. We can be quiet and vulnerable with each other while sitting in the stillness together. If we strengthen these muscles of restoration and connection now, we can carry them with us into our routines and relationships in every season.
"Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape." -Bell Hooks
If we embrace the different rhythms of the year and its seasons, we can glean the most from their offerings. So let winter's hearth fires warm you and refine you. Sit in the warmth and comforts of the season while boiling the year’s intentions and goals down so you can skim off the mistakes and exhaustion that rises to the top. Create a new mold for a new year and pour your dreams into it. Once Spring shows it’s sleepy, yellow head, crawl out of the cocoon, stretch your arms wide and break out with your restored energy and light!
Photographs by Emily & Zach Dorman of Alp & Isle Styling by Emily of Alp & Isle & Sutton of By Sutton Venue, Dram Apothecary’s Poor Farm in Salida, Colorado Antique Letterpress Suite by BryloWed Ceramic wares by Fenway Clayworks Loungewear from Two Skirts Lingerie/bralette from Eden Boutique Model, Cat Curtis of Telluride, Colorado Film Lab, Richard Photo Lab Vessels and Antique Candlesticks provided by Prema Style