After donning hats, scarves, gloves and boots for months, many of us wait in anticipation for early March, when spring is finally within reach. Flowers begin their energetic push as the first green shoots surface in flower beds and parks. The grass gets greener and fuller, dormant trees begin their rebirth, and birds chirp happily as they gather leaves and sticks to make their nests. For about two weeks, the weather warms. Sixty degree days become common, and on some days, the temperature even pops up to 70 degrees. That’s when we become convinced that winter is behind us. We pack away our heavy sweaters, and fill our closets with spring and summer clothing. Then—BOOM—the snow hits again. This time, it’s a biggie. It’s the last big storm of winter (or so we think).

Those 60 to 70 degree days are still part of winter—even if they might have felt like spring. Seasonally, if winter temperatures are supposed to be between 25 to 45 degrees, but the outside temperature is really 60, the “spring” temperature is unusual and is a reflection of something greater than what we can see. We don’t know what’s happening in the galaxy that is impacting the weather. We only see the effect of something that has happened.

Dress for the season, not the weather. Why? The winter essence is cold. Even though the temperature may read 60 degrees, the essence follows the season. The cold essence is what the body reacts to. Wearing lightweight shirts, skirts without stockings, or shoes without socks requires our bodies to use extra Qi. It also opens the body up to catch something—like a heavy cold or a stomach bug—that can hide until later. Our bodies are pushed to process more and work harder than they would be if we wore seasonal clothing. Wearing winter-appropriate clothing allows our bodies to continue our winter rest so that we don’t use up added Qi.

So, for now, bundle up in your sweaters, pants, and socks. And do the same on the next 60 degree day, until spring is truly here.

Nature, TCM

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