Changing with the Seasons

With this being the Fall Equinox, I felt this would be a good time to pop out some notes on adapting our daily living to be more in-tune with the cycles of nature.  I know that sentence probably already lost some of you as being too “hippy-dippy”, but think of it even just from an animal perspective: biologically our bodies were designed to adapt with the changes of the seasons.

So what does that mean in present-day life?

It can mean whatever changes you feel comfortable making that co-ordinate with the changes in the seasons.  Here are some of my favourites:

  1. Ditch salads and start cooking with more root vegetables and tubers:
    As the seasons change, so does the natural availability of certain produce.  Try just shifting your diet to have a higher proportion of what’s grown locally near you at this time of year to help ease this seasonal transition on your body.  Soon we will be flooded with winter squashes, sweet potatoes, and other delicious fall fare!
  2. Eat more soups and stews:
    While we still have a few more days of warm weather left to us, as the weather shifts to be cooler, our bodies tend to fare better with warm cooked foods, rather than cold raw ones.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this nourishes our Spleen meridian and supports healthy digestion.  If you are having slippery or sticky poops (and a big fat “tooth-printed” tongue), then this diet change can really help you get back into balance.
  3. Take a little more time each day and each week to rest:
    It is natural at this time of year to get a bit “squirrelly” with the need to get everything done before winter.  That is actually our bodies responding to the change in seasons (and a whole lot of “should lists” from ourselves as well).  So don’t forget to take a little time each day to take 5 deep breaths, and then maybe once a week spend at least an hour outside in nature enjoying some stillness or a light walk (not yardwork!).
  4.  Stop stressing so much about your weight:
    This is a natural time of year for your metabolism to slow a bit, and while I don’t condone packing on a “fall forty”, please do go easy on your body at this time of year.  We biologically fatten up for a cold winter – so if you’re having trouble with the scale right now, maybe focus instead on getting outside and moving your body without worrying how much you weigh.  Bulky sweaters are on their way soon!  We can start the slimming process once more in the spring, when nature is on our side once more.
  5. Start your anti-viral protocols now:
    With all of the kids back in school and the germs-a-flyin’, this is a great time to get into healthy habits to prevent getting knocked down and out with a fall or winter cold.  So be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water to prevent infection!  Did you know that most viruses actually enter our system through our eyes (because of the reduced defenses found there)?  So be mindful of how much you touch your face during this season!  And if you get the beginnings of a cold – definitely consider Elderberry Echinacea tea combined with Nin Jiom cough syrup!  It’s my favourite tasty way to give my immune system a boost when I feel the inklings of a cold coming on.

These are just a few tips to help you step into fall with some grace and peace.  You don’t have to try to master them all.  Just do what you feel capable of in this moment, and above all else trust your gut!  It will always guide you in the path best for your health and healing.

 

Happy Fall Solstice!!

 

-Katy

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