Seasonal changes can leave us feeling unbalanced and in need of some extra self-care. We want to incorporate practices that help us balance the qualities of the season to stay healthy and feeling our best.
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life and medicine, each season has a certain quality about it.
Fall and early winter is characterized as being cold, dry, light, rough, irregular, moving and quickly changing. The weather turns cold, winds blow, and the earth becomes dry, hard and rough. You might notice drier skin, irregular digestion, and the frantic, unpredictable energy of the holidays, which can easily leave you depleted, overwhelmed, and distracted.
We want to balance these characteristics out with opposite qualities of warmth, moisture, nourishment, slowness, regularity and focus.
We are typically focused on hydrating when it’s hot outside, however it is equally (if not more) important when the temps cool down to help balance the dry air. Start your day with warm water and lemon to balance the cool temperatures and hydrate your organs after sleeping. Throughout the day sip on water or warm, clear herbal tea to stay hydrated, energized and keep your skin looking beautiful.
Fall is the perfect time to cultivate some stillness in your daily life. Take time to connect with yourself and try to reduce the amount of rushing, traveling, and running around that you do. This will help balance out the windiness and quickly moving characteristics of fall. Begin to focus your energy inward. Write, meditate, read, practice yoga, take a bath, cozy up with a tea by the fire, breathe!
Fall calls for nutritious, warm, cooked foods and drinks like stews, teas, soups, and roasted root veggies. Save the salads and cold, light foods for summer. The seasons affect us in how we react to the outside climate and by the foods that are naturally available to us during these times. Fall foods include winter squash, pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes and root vegetables - incorporate them into your meals to feel balanced. Grounding foods (food that is literally grown in the ground like carrots and sweet potatoes) also give us their grounding energy to help with tip number two. Enjoying a hot mug of turmeric milk or tea is the perfect evening drink to warm and nourish you.
Sticking to regular meal and bed times create balance and help you feel grounded. Our bodies feel best when we are in rhythm with nature. Aim to go to bed early and wake up early (and at the same time) every day. You will feel better and it will help maintain your healthy immune system. We all need extra rest during times of transition.