In the northern hemisphere, fall is a time when the weather cools, the winds accelerate, the temperatures are variable from warm to cold, our schedules shift as kids go back to school and holidays arrive, and the abundance of light gives way to increasing darkness.
To adapt to these seasonal shifts, Ayurveda recommends a change in diet and daily routine to maintain balance and stay strong through the winter. Here are some things you can do to get grounded this fall.
Reestablish a regular routine that includes sleeping, waking and eating at regular times. This will support good sleep and better digestion.
To keep digestion at par,shift away from cold, dry or raw foods and favor of more cooked, spiced, and unctuous meals such as soups and stews. is recommended. Instead of raw apples, Juice and then warm with spices, or dice and cook in some water, cinnamon, and raisins for an afternoon snack.
Spend time daily doing activities you enjoy: connect with friends, read, listen to music, be outdoors....
Give your mind some time and space to digest the complexity of all you take in each day by walking or seated meditation. If sitting is hard, try walking with the intention to just walk. Begin at your usual pace, and then slow down bringing awareness into each step and into your body as a whole. When you get distracted, come back to that easy focus on walking and moving.
Seek out and spend time in community. Be with others with whom you can share authentically and in a real way.
One of the best things you can do to support your overall health this season is a gentle cleanse at home.
The following protocol will help guide you in a gentle reset. Schedule it in sometime in the next week or two.
Take a week to cut back or eliminate the following foods:
Processed carbs like bread
Caffeine (beyond 1 cup/day)
Alcohol (beyond 2 glasses/week)
Tobacco and other recreational substances
Leftovers (beyond a couple of days)
Eat a whole foods diet of freshly prepared, warm food:
Eat 2 or 3 meals/day at regular times
Have your largest meal mid-day
Soups and Stews and other easy to digest foods are especially good
Eat plenty of organic vegetables
Use high-quality organic oils (olive, ghee)
Enjoy whole grains and organic meats
Hydrate with plenty of warm or hot water
Re-establish rhythm and a daily practice
Wake at or before dawn--practice gratitude for Life!
Drink a cup of warm-hot water upon awakening
Practice 5 – 15 minutes of yoga
Practice 5 – 15 minutes of pranayama or meditation
Take a walk outside every day.
Eat an earlier, lighter dinner
Turn off the TV/computer an hour before bed
Spend 5 minutes meditating, journaling, or stretching before bed
Go to sleep by 10 pm--remember gratitude for Life!
Take 1 - 3 days to intentionally detox.
Carry a thermos of hot water or fresh ginger root tea and sip every 15 minutes throughout the day.
Enjoy a kitcharia fast for a day or more.
Take triphala at night with warm water before bed (finish the bottle) to support colon health.
Enjoy some skin brushing and epsom salt baths (1 - 2 Cups per bath) to slough off dead skin, relax and unwind
Enjoy a cool - cold water rinse after bath/shower
Massage your skin with some warm sesame oil before a hot steamy shower or bath.
Enjoy a cup of tulsi tea in the afternoons (or any herbal tea you enjoy).
Take some time to relax on the couch after work. Rest, read, listen to music. If you have kids, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and announce what is happening during that time so everyone takes a time out.
Make art; play music, dance.
Be in Nature.
OK, my dears. I hope this helps
. Reach out and let me know how you're doing. What are your best ways to nourish yourself, ease your suffering and get back on track when you get lost in the woods?
With love, Shannon