Fall is a time of year when the ether and air elements increase and with them their qualities of mobility, dryness and cold. To balance this increase, we bring in the opposite qualities of stillness, moisture and warmth. It’s the same in the late afternoon. You know that time of day when you start to feel scattered, tired and a little frayed? This is a great time to take 10, and rather than push through to completion, step away from whatever activity you are engaged in and take a moment to gather yourself together. Part of staying healthy and sane in our modern life is learning to align with the Natural rhythms rather than fight them.
It’s so common when we start to feel the lull of the late afternoon to drink more coffee, reach for a quick burst of energy through a sugary carbo-laden snack, and push through to complete whatever we’ve been working on. However, most of us who’ve tried this know that this exacerbates the problem, and while we may succeed in pushing through, we sacrifice our peace of mind, and drain the little energy we had left for our work day, and return home frazzled and exhausted.
Ayurveda teaches that medicine is anything that takes care of a problem, leaves the body through natural means of elimination, and doesn’t create more problems.
Here is some medicine for the late afternoon lull:
Take 10 – 30 minutes.
Hydrate yourself with something warm and non-caffeinated. Plain water will do.
Center yourself for a few moments of meditation
Rest in a restorative yoga posture or take savasana or walk or sit outdoors.
This simple protocol will balance and refresh you so you can move through the end of the day and into your evening activities with more calm and ease, ready to unwind with your loved ones, pets or a favorite activity.
The momentum of your work activity may be hard to break at first. Think of it as a muscle you are building. You are strengthening your capacity to disengage from doing, and rest into Being for a little while. Even 5 minutes will do. The ego almost never feels this is a good idea. Be on the lookout for the tension of the ego “driver” and use your will to disengage. This will get easier with practice.