By: Raeanna Thompson
We’re waving goodbye to fall and officially saying hello to winter. This year’s Winter Solstice is taking place on December 21, 2021. During this year’s Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere will only be receiving 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight, making it the longest night and shortest day of the year. The astronomical first day of winter occurs when the earth is tilted away from the sun as far as possible. The rays from the sun hit the Northern Hemisphere at a low angle, making this the lowest the sun will sit in the sky all year.
Significance of Solstice
The Winter Solstice is far from a modern concept. In fact, per History.com, observations of the Solstice can be dated back to the last part of the Stone Age during the Neolithic period. That makes for a lot of celebrations! A variety of folklore surrounds the Solstice, including theories of ancient societies using it for sacred rituals and traditions. For example, researchers at Live Science claimed 15th century Tulum has stone buildings that still stand “that produces a starburst effect when the sun rises on the winter solstice”. In the present day, many cultures continue to celebrate and honor the Winter Solstice with festivals, family gatherings, etc. This seasonal transition can have a number of meanings across cultures. A common belief as to why Solstice is celebrated is it signifies abundance, rebirth, and reflection.
Self-care Rituals for You This Solstice
Practicing self-care can be the perfect way to honor this year’s Winter Solstice if you do not already have a religious practice. This can be a time to slow down, listen to your body, and show gratitude. Add one of these practices to your Winter Solstice celebration (or in your daily life) and your emotional health will thank you!
Journaling can be one of the easiest ways to release any built-up emotions or thoughts. Consistent journaling has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety because you now have the space to process your emotions. It can also give an opportunity for you to express gratitude; an example of this can be listing all of the things you may be thankful for in your life. Ornami’s Self Care Planner can be the right assistance to get started on your journaling journey! Not only does it allow you to stay organized and track your achievements, its self care theme leaves room for you to pen in affirmations and monthly reflection.
Meditation is ideal for the Winter Solstice and for the preservation of your mental health; the practice of meditation has been proven to have an abundance of neurological benefits. During this transitional period, take time to yourself and connect with your breath to reduce stress. Guided meditations can be great for beginners who are just getting started with embracing mindfulness. Intrusive thoughts are normal; a guided meditation helps recognize these thoughts when they occur and get your mind back on track. Try meditating for 15 minutes or more this solstice to not only honor the longer days ahead, but your body as well.
Tap into your inner foodie this season, sis! Believe it or not, cooking is not only an art and a science, but can be another meditative experience. Cooking can encourage mindfulness, as your attention becomes focused on your taste and smell sense. Creating nourishing meals can be therapeutic for the mind and body. To beat the frosty weather, try a new soup recipe utilizing your favorite root veggies!
Cleaning Your Space
A good decluttering session can almost seem life changing. Not only will you feel at ease afterwards, a tidy space reflects a tidy lifestyle. Psychology Today conducted recent studies that linked home cleanliness to personal health, showing individuals with clean homes are healthier and more active than those who have messy homes. Do that laundry, clean out your fridge, and sanitize your counters this solstice to make room for opportunity and an organized mind!
We’re excited to be almost through the year 2021! This Winter Solstice is a season of transition and we love to welcome change. The night may be long, but it gives us an opportunity to have something to look forward to (longer days)! It’s still the holiday season, so why not treat yourself with the gift of self-care?