Feeding Your Inner Light in the Dark Days of Winter

by Rachael Keener January 29, 2016

Winter is a time of slowing down and turning inward.  Rivers slow to a crawl before halting all together and freezing over. The sunlight wanes and trees abandon their bids at photosynthesis, instead storing the energy they gathered in the previous summer deep in their roots to survive the harsher season. Bears, bees and bats tuck away into hibernation. As it happens, us humans adopt many of the same seasonal behaviors. We stay in more often. We sleep later. We head straight home after work for a warm, nourishing meal and a night curled up with a book.

We, too, are animals with innate seasonal wisdom that summons us to slow down, to recharge and to expend less energy during the winter months.  

The trick, however, lies in not slowing down too much. Because if we never left the comfort of our home, we would risk settling into those winter blues and losing motivation all together. We must take care to maintain our inner flame throughout the cold, dark season assuring it doesn’t extinguish all together. It’s important to keep a little light and life around—to keep things moving on some level. Maybe we commit to a dance class for the winter or motivate to pile in with friends for a monthly dinner party. Or we find a workout buddy to help inspire us to get out for that ski or run even when it’s cold and dark outside. It’s also helpful to know who our herbal allies are this time of year and call on them to help sustain our inner  glow–to help keep our life force moving, albeit at a slower speed.

At Urban Moonshine, we have a couple of excellent in-the-moment formulas to support you in keeping your inner light luminous throughout the winter. Our Joy Tonic is a powerful herbal formula that includes lemon balm, which was coined “the gladdening herb” by 10th century Arabian physicians and “the elixir of life” by Paracelsus. You’ll find the likes of other joyful herbs such as rose, linden, mugwort and lemongrass in the formula as well. These plants support a positive mental attitude and a healthy level of tension in the nervous system. In the winter time, try taking Joy Tonic in hot water with a wedge of orange or lemon for a little added brightness. It’s a lovely way to start the day.

Our other go-to formula that’s wonderful for promoting a relaxed nervous system and uplifting the heart is Chocolate Love Tonic. While it’s, of course, perfect for keeping at your bedside to kindle your love life (hey, that’s one way to keep things warm in the winter months!), it also stands on its own as an excellent elixir of inspiration.

Not only does this formula contain herbs like hawthorn, rose and damiana that support healthy emotional balance, it also includes warming ginger which provides a spark by supporting circulation.

Chocolate Love Tonic is perfect for cozying into your winter happy place and keeping your spirit illuminated when it’s cold and dark outside. It’s just the choice when you’re looking for a little warmth to accompany nervous system support and as part of a nightly unwinding ritual. With it’s comforting yet exotic taste and sweet and aromatic qualities, you’ll look forward to your daily dose.  


If ever a season provides you with challenges, tune into what’s happening in nature and the world around you.

Look outside and follow suit. Now is the time to slow it down a little. Rest. Give yourself permission to do less, while asking what is essential in order to preserve your inner flame through winter’s cold and dark days. Find small rituals that keep your light alive. Know which herbs are here to support you at this time, and feel comforted knowing they’ve got your back. Take a sip of your Joy Tonic or your Chocolate Love Tonic and let a smile slip across your face as you appreciate the ease and inspiration they have to share and how their qualities are kindred to the qualities of your own heart, still flickering even through the darkest months.

Rachael Keener
Rachael Keener


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