Shana Stein Faulhaber.jpg

The holidays are an interesting dichotomy of slow and steady versus fast and furious. On the one hand, time might seem to stand still, while simultaneously speeding up in other areas.

Winter ushers in a sort of slow and stillness in a sense. As the temperatures outside start to cool, we begin to bundle up, preparing warm dishes like soups and stews, and stoking the flames in our fireplace.

It’s easy to feel disconnected from this change, as we simultaneously busy ourselves with holiday shopping and seasonal events, not to mention the continuation of our daily jobs and chores. I like to remind myself of my connection to the rest of the planet as the seasons continue to change.

As the trees shed their leaves, so too do we go through a transformation. It’s an excellent time of year to pause and think about what it is that we’d like to let go of or leave behind. Maybe it’s some pattern of behavior that not longer serves you. Maybe it’s some limiting belief that’s been keeping you stuck. Or maybe it’s something else entirely.

By stopping to reflect we can chart a different course for 2020. You might consider journaling on the subject. Or maybe you like to sit in prayer, meditation or contemplation. Talking with a counselor or otherwise sympathetic ear can be awesome as well.

Many animals also take to hibernation come winter. While it might not be realistic in our human experience to take an entire season to hole up in our house, it’s important to take some time for ourselves. Some people engage in retreat by creating a “staycation.”

A staycation is basically penciling in a certain number of days with which you’ll refrain from engaging with the outside world. Maybe you turn off your email and social media. Maybe you tell friends and family that you’ll be unavailable. Do your grocery shopping in advance. Take off work. And just spend a couple of days tending to your inner garden.

Another form of hibernation that hubs and I like to take advantage of is booking a hotel in our hometown. We only live an hour away, but come the holidays, that drive back and forth can add up. Not to mention that we can’t stay away for very long stretches because the dogs need us. So we’ve found a home away from home hotel that we’ve found a few days at serves us well. Besides being able to provide some intense family and friends quality time, there are also other added benefits to this practice.

If you’re able to get out of your every day environment, you might find that it aids you in slowing down. For us, when we’re at home, there’s an endless list of chores and projects that constantly beg for our attention. And being busy bodies by nature, we’re inclined to give in and tackle them.

Taking even a day or two away, even if it’s only an hour from home, supports our ability to slow down and just be. And in doing so, when we return home, our spirits are lifted and those proverbial batteries are charged, so that we are able to re-engage in daily life with a renewed vigor.

There’s no right or wrong way to do winter. Hopefully you’ll take a moment to think about what you need in this moment so that you too can find yourself restored and renewed. Let’s resolve to finish out 2019 strong y’all.

Shana Stein Faulhaber is a criminal defense attorney with offices in Athens and Corsicana and can be reached via email at shana@shanastein.com

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