It’s winter here in Australia. Admittedly, what we consider winter here in Perth doesn’t come close to the experience of winter in many parts of the world! Gloomy, rain-filled days with a chill in the air are interrupted by frequent days of clear blue skies and beautiful weather. I love it! In the midst of this season, I find myself drawn to the same things repeatedly- my favourite things for this winter. I initially wanted to share these with you as a lighter post to ease back in after a two-week break. As I gathered my list of favourites, I suddenly realised that they are indicators of the state of my internal world right now.
My plum-coloured hoodie
I’m sure many of you have a favourite jumper or winter jacket that you find yourself reaching for time and again. This is mine. I pair it with comfortable track pants and Ugg boots on most days when I am working from home without anywhere special to be. It is cozy and in my favourite winter colour so not surprising.
I didn’t think much about this favourite until I had to look a little more presentable for an outing. Suddenly I felt a little overwhelmed when choosing clothes for the day. That is when I realised that my hoodie serves two purposes in my day to day life. Firstly, it is my comfort zone even when I am working on something challenging. I feel at ease in it. Secondly, it cuts down on my decision fatigue. I don’t have to think about what to wear when I can grab this hoodie. Something as small as choosing clothes when your mind is already dealing with numerous decisions can feel like a tipping point. Steve Jobs and other high performers have talked about having a ‘uniform’ of sorts when it comes to clothing to cut out that decision. It is worth exploring sources of decision fatigue and making changes.
‘Mellow Mama’ essential oil blend
This has been a long time favourite but I have noticed myself reaching for it more often of late. It is a blend of Ylang Ylang, Citrus Bliss, Hawaiian Sandalwood and Patchouli oils that I mix myself. This blend smells incredible and leaves me feeling calm and confident.
It dawned on me that I was craving those feelings more. I know that I have a tendency not to notice when I am feeling stressed and anxious. I bury those feelings without even realising it. Tuning into little indicators- like the oils I am reaching for and the increased desire to numb out with technology- is key for me. I can now take steps to deal with the stress before it builds up more.
(If you too are an oily fan, you might be interested in the Fragrant Meditations courses that combine essential oil blends with Scripture meditation.)
I have loved making a pot of good quality Oolong tea to drink as I relax, work or write. The cold has me reaching for warm drinks frequently. This is a way to meet that need without overdosing on caffeine. I am working on savouring moments and being present. A warm drink in my hand with its aroma and taste is a great way to do that during my day.
Holidays at home
I have so enjoyed the slower pace of being on school holidays and on leave from one of my jobs. I love going away and seeing new places but have enjoyed the comfort of my own space with day trips, playdates, board games and movies to keep us entertained. This time has been a balm to my soul and I feel more refreshed as we look towards this next term.
I have been seeking comfort and peace in my favourite things this winter. This isn’t surprising in the middle of this intense year! May we all remember that our souls need care and rest.