shifting into fall September 16 2018, 0 Comments
A seasonal shift can completely redefine how we do things day-to-day. From our diet to our mindset and our relationships, everything is slightly altered to make for a more comfortable experience into the later months of the year. Making small changes can go a long way when it comes to overall energy levels, digestion, and feeling cozy and supported.
Summer is filled with smoothies, salads and popsicles, but as the weather transforms, prioritizing more warming foods is a must. From an eastern medicine and holistic perspective, many of the foods that can be beneficial in assisting us to cool down can leave us feeling depleted and dehydrated in fall and winter. Pay attention to what’s in season, and oftentimes that’s what will help you feel warm and nourished. Avoid frozen treats, too much raw food and ice water. Soups, stews, steamed and sauteed veg are all great additions and will help you to feel warm and nourished.
Start incorporating more moisture in anticipation of the winter months. Exfoliating and any other practice related to encouraging renewal in the skin is still great, but make sure you’re adding in plenty of moisture afterwards. Our face cream works amazing as a hydrating mask at night. Apply a generous amount and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes, gently wipe off with a warm cloth, and follow with your usual nighttime routine. The All Purpose Salve is also a great help when transitioning into the colder months. Use it on dry patches for your face and body, even lips and cuticles. It’s wonderful applied right before bed when it will have a chance to set in overnight.
For your body, abhyanga can be a truly divine practice. Ancient Indian medicine recommends doing self-massage daily using oil. There are many potential oil combinations, but the most commonly recommended one is organic, unrefined and untoasted sesame oil. Warm the oil by placing a small amount in a heatsafe bowl and set the bowl in a pot of hot water. Make sure no water gets into the bowl and that the oil ends up comfortably warm and not too hot. Once the oil is heated, massage your body in large upward strokes, starting at the feet. Address your whole body, including the soles of your feet and even ears. Follow with a shower. There are many videos online showing proper methods of abhyanga (self-massage). This practice will stimulate circulation, calm your nervous system and leave skin feeling renewed.
If wanting a quick and effective way to prevent dehydrated skin all over the body, using a body oil straight out of the shower can make a huge difference during the fall and winter season. Make sure to apply the oil when skin is still damp and massage it in. It will completely absorb and get rid of that horrible tight and itchy feeling from indoor heating and harsh conditions. The oil also penetrates deeper than just using a cream and will last throughout the day. If feeling especially dry, you can layer up and apply a body cream on top to seal the oil in, which is the ultimate treat!
Exercise can be effective without being too rigorous. The key is to create movement in the body to support circulation, digestion and emotional health. It could be as simple as choosing to walk to work despite the chilly weather (if this is an option), doing a relaxing restorative yoga class, or exploring something new like a swimming lesson. Choosing activities that are new and not your usual go-to can add some much-needed variety to a season that tends to create the feeling of stagnancy. Switch things up to avoid feeling like you’re in a rut.
Another way of promoting circulation and detoxification is to take a warm bath. Adding some herbal bath tea will make the experience both visually pleasing and calming for the whole body. The bath tea has marshmallow root which works to soften skin while chamomile and lavender encourage relaxation.
These are just a few practices that can be incorporated to make the transition into fall that much smoother and enjoyable. Choosing beneficial rituals that speak to you and sticking to them while the weather gradually gets cooler can make a world of difference and result in having a more balanced and beautiful fall season.