What is "inner winter"

Good question. It is one of the inner seasons.

In this post, I’ll answer 3 questions: 

  • when is winter?

  • what happens during winter? and

  • what’s good to do during inner winter?

At the end I’ll share a top tip.

When is winter?

Outer Winter

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is typically December-February.

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter is typically June-August 

Inner Winter

If you are menstruating, consider the first day you properly start to bleed as the first day of winter.  For some women winter can last a few days and for others up to 10 days.  But… the most important thing that you are exploring is what is your winter.  As you begin to understand your own cycle at a deeper level you may feel as though your winter begins before the first day of your bleed.

If you aren’t menstruating, then the dark moon marks is the equivalent to mid-winter.


What happens during winter?

What is happening in nature?

This is a season of the shortest days and often coldest temperatures. For example, a sunflower will have died back, and any seeds that formed during the winter will be in the ground, but they won’t be growing.

What is happening with the moon? 

In astronomy, the dark moon is the first lunar phase.  The dark moon is when the moon isn’t visible.  The new moon occurs during this season and this is when the first tiny sliver of moon appears.  Why not take a look outside over this week as the moon develops, do you know where the moon is in the sky at this point in the month? 

What is happening in my body?

On Day 1 of the menstrual cycle both oestrogen and progesterone are low and this gives the signal to the pituitary gland to produce Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and the process of maturing a follicle can begin. A follicle is a fluid sac in the ovary containing an egg. The lining of the uterus falls away and we are bleeding. Also at this stage there is the greatest communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.


What’s good to do during inner winter?

There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long.
So don’t expect yourself to do so either.
— Unknown


In our 24/7 world, we can feel the pressure to always be on. But we need to rest and switch off.  

Take inspiration from nature, and rest.  Winter can be the perfect season to do this when our energy levels are generally low.  

During the first few days of winter, try and schedule in some time to rest and be alone.  

What do you find restful?

Some ideas. 

Sleep/nap.   Have a bath.  Watch a film.  Have a foot bath.   Go for a gentle walk. Watch TV listen to a book Light a fire Take some time off Get a babysitter in Light candles Massage

Having a takeaway Have a tech free day Take the day off

Reflect and Evaluate

After you have taken some time to rest, and begin to feel you have a little more energy, then make some time to reflect and evaluate on your last month, how your projects are going, or how things are generally going in your life.  

We might like to think that we are objective, but humans have a negativity bias- we are programmed to over emphasis the negative.  So try and do some quantitative and qualitative evaluation so it’s easier to compare later.  

Here are a few questions to ask yourself :

What do you feel like doing this winter?

What do you feel like not doing this winter?  Can you postpone it to later this month? 

Do you have ideas of what you would like to do different in the next month?  Things you want to change or try out? 

Top Tip for Winter

Prepare a basket of things that helps you through the winter. Some ideas: hot chocolate, your period pants, packets of miso soup, hot water bottle, a list of TV you want to watch. Have these ready so that when you’re period starts, you have everything you need.

Posted on September 24, 2019 .