Mindfulness exercises for the winter. [5 TIPS]


Paul’s Buitencoaching: www.paulbc.nl 

The first Forest Mind / Metsämieli instructor in the Netherlands uses insights from eco-psychology, mindfulness and walking coaching in a natural setting.

The winter

Winter is pre-eminently the time to take a break, embrace the (inner) silence and seek peace. Nature has now sunk into a deep hibernation and is recharging its forces for the coming spring in its deepest core.

By creating silence and space for ourselves in this period, we create the possibility and the circumstances for our insights, wisdom and intentions to be born in the new year.

The forest in the winter

My regular walkers will recognize the following. Learn to experience and recognize a 2-hour walk in the forest every three weeks. Gain experience with sound, smell, color and all the beauty that the forest has to offer. Her own experiences every season. And then there are fall and winter. These seem to be difficult seasons for gaining new experiences. But also in the winter there’s a lot to experience in the forest.

In the distance the sound of a male deer and hindes, ground and leaves turned by wild pigs, the smells of the moss, the colors of the leaves, the birds that warn each other that people are walking through the forest, the stately trees with their enormous branch system, budding buds waiting for spring, and so on.

When I leave the walking track like this, we come across beautiful places. Just as I trust memories of the security of the forest, there are many who take the memories to the forest. As to be seen on the photo. In the winter my eye catches on secrets that normally remain hidden.

How should you go through the winter? It is not very cold at the moment so walking through the forest is a nice relaxing activity. Don’t walk too fast. Take the peace and do not break the silence. Enjoy everything that is present now. 5 mindfulness winter exercises for the whole cold period and darkness.

5 Mindfulness exercises for the winter.

1. Have mindful conversations

It’s easy to forget about the importance of talking and listening mindfully, but the slowness of winter can give us ample opportunities for this activity. With the longer nights and colder weather, we might spend more time indoors with the people close to us.

Try making an effort to turn off the television and put phones away so you can sit down with a loved one and have a meaningful conversation.

Ask them how their day was, what they’re looking forward to, how their work has been, how they’re feeling, or what they’re planning for the weekend. Be open-minded and curious about their responses – consciously choose to show them you’re listening to what they have to say.

2. Listen to music

One of my favourite ways to relax on a chilly day is to snuggle on the couch, wrap myself up in a blanket, pop in some earphones and listen to soothing meditation music.

By the end of this mindfulness technique, I tend to feel calm and a little sleepy – it’s a beautiful way to slow down.

I find it really easy to mindfully listen to meditation music because my mind enjoys focusing on the different sounds.

3. Take notice of the weather.

A really simple way to be more mindful in your daily life is to take some time to notice the weather. If there is a rare day of sunshine, you could go for a walk and enjoy the rays. You could lie in bed and listen to the rain on the roof. If you leave your house and there’s frost on the ground, try listening to the crunch of it underneath your feet. Watch snow falling or wind whipping through the trees.

Even though this mindfulness technique is quite simple, it can be a really nice way to experience winter and the things that make it special.

4. Yin yoga

Yin yoga is a great way to release tension in the body and cultivate physical relaxation. Some of us tend to spend more time sitting down in winter (with the longer nights and cold weather), so taking the time to stretch can be extra helpful.

Yin yoga is also a wonderful opportunity for mindful movements. Each pose is held for several minutes, allowing time to move slowly and settle into the poses.

Usually, the yoga studio will be warm and you can use a bolster and blankets to stay cosy. I also enjoy closing my eyes and really resting or tuning into my breath!

5. Drink koffie thee of warme chocolademelk

Each morning, I sit down on the couch and cuddle with my dogs (who are especially snuggly in winter!) and enjoy a cup of coffee. In the afternoon, I do the same thing with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. It’s a lovely way to make some time for mindfulness and to enjoy a delicious, warm drink.

Here are some simple tips for trying this mindful drinking technique out yourself:

-Feel the warmth of the mug in your hands

-Notice the aroma and flavour of your drink

-Observe the texture of the liquid in your mouth

-Look at the colour of your mug

Now a question to you as a reader. I’m making a plan for the blogs of 2020.

Which topics from Forest Mind, Forest Baths, Mindfulness or Walking Coaching would you like to read in depth in my blogs? Send your answer to Paul

I regularly offer experience walks and with sufficient interest I give workshops. Make your interest known.


I can offer Dutch, German and English workshops.


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