How to Nurture your Water Element & Prevent These Symptoms as Winter Ends
I don’t remember another winter when I dreaded spring like I do now.
As it nears, I’m soaking up every moment I can of the dark nights, the quiet time at home with candles and a book, and the cold weather that keeps me indoors and tells me it’s perfectly fine for a little while longer to be completely unremarkable.
What is it about Winter that I’m not ready to say goodbye to, and what do I hope you too will connect with in order to stay balanced and prevent exhaustion?
Winter & the Water Element
Winter is Water Element season, according to Chinese medicine’s 5 Elements. It relates to our deepest resources of energy – loosely correlated with our adrenals and what we call “kidneys” – and winter is the natural time for restoration. Think of the earth in winter, when all appears dead and stagnant but underneath the plants are resting and regenerating, preparing in secret to burst forth in the spring. Think also of the deep ocean where from the surface you don’t see anything of what’s going on underneath.
That’s what it’s like in our bodies when we have a deep well full of Water/Kidney energy…cellular function and energy creation are going on with perfect vitality under the radar, ready to fuel our busy lives.
Is your Water Element full or depleted? Do you have any of these common symptoms of Water Element depletion?
Since water flows down, in our bodies when our Kidney/Water energy is full, we have a downward anchoring energy. This calms us and prevents too much rising up and its accompanying symptoms like dizziness, racing heart, headaches, insomnia, flushing, and anxiety.
When our Water element is depleted then, because we have a hard time grounding we’re more likely to get these symptoms, along with fatigue. It’s common as spring nears and the energy around us rises with the lengthening days, for our own energy to rise up too; and if we don’t have strong grounding Kidney energy, many people will temporarily have the mentioned symptoms.
So watch out for them over the next several weeks as spring approaches.
How to connect with and restore your own Water/Kidneys
Clinically, we typically nurture the kidneys with herbs, and the combination with acupuncture treatment definitely helps resolve these symptoms. But in our personal lives it mostly means slowing down, being still, and going against our society’s constant pull to DO MORE all year long.
Ideas for “Water Element” type activities:
- meditation and prayer
- Saying NO to more commitments, more home improvements, more shopping, more…
- Just sitting. Really, just sit there and relax
- Take baths and/or spend time near our local rivers and lakes, just BEing.
- Athletes, be OK with not meeting your PR, take more breaks from training
- And the biggie…disconnect – from screentime, social media, etc. – so we have more time to CONNECT with ourselves.
We already know all these things, right? Yet we rarely take this seriously until life gets so crazy that it reaches crisis levels.
So don’t let it reach that point.
A growing crisis…
This crisis seems to be the common thread of conversations with my patients this past year. We’ve always had conversations about doing too much, but never to the scale that they’re happening now – almost everyone is over the top stressed, trying to live the lives of 5 people in one day.
Some of this is unavoidable, but much of this is our own choice.
I know I’ve chosen to do insane levels of continued advanced study over the past 6 years, as just one example. But then my activity reached crisis levels last year when my website fiasco (which many of you know about) had me commonly working 80 hour weeks for 8 months straight.
Now that that’s behind me, I’m savoring this conscious choice and opportunity I have to slow down.
The pressure to be more active in the warmer months has me grateful for every moment that I just get to stay inside by the fire. I’ve amped up my mediation and prayer and I’m simply saying NO to many projects or new studies. I’m spending more time in reflection and contemplation, getting back into my spiritual books and writing, and making time again for friendships.
This is necessary restoration after years of focused work.
I invite you into your own water element for these last weeks of winter. Your adrenals/kidneys will thank you for it and you’ll not only be preventing illness, but you’ll be more refreshed and renewed once the adventure of longer days arrives.
If you think your energy stores/adrenals need more help than just what you can do on your own, you can schedule an appointment today.