Working with the seasons is absolutely key to our overall wellbeing, here is how to shift yourself naturally into Autumn and Winter.
As it is for all the elements, seasonal change for us humans is a time of change and adaptation. Everything around us affects us, and as this starts to shift we need to get on board and shift with it. Whenever a season changes there is always a rise in illness as new strains begin to circulate. During these uncertain times we must keep our immune systems boosted and prepared to protect us even more than usual, especially as it gets cooler.
With the cooler seasonal weather we need to ingest more warming foods and keep a check on our nutrition. Focussing on incorporating heat-generating foods and extra protein can help us achieve good health and keep our blood and energy moving.
Pay attention to the harvest in your region during these months, and adapt accordingly. We are a part of nature and what naturally grows in particular times is what we ought to be accustomed to eating. In Europe now we will be seeing apples, courgettes, squash, cabbages, peppers and tomatoes, plus many grains and beans. Keep an ingredients list that complements the seasons when searching for new recipes. Add spice for extra warmth in the form of cayenne pepper or chillies.
Make sure you incorporate as many varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole foods, grains and greens, into your diet as possible, on a daily basis. Be kind to yourself and don’t neglect that healthy diet as the season changes. Cutting back on meat and introducing more pulses, legumes and other seasonal produce is the way forward.
If you feel challenged by the nutritional side of things and want to supplement your diet then echinacea, astragalus, vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc, ginseng, and burdock are all helpful. For a fresh ingredient to aid with immunity try to introduce raw garlic into your diet. If where you live Autumn means a decrease in sunlight then perhaps taking a vitamin D supplement could benefit your health as this is difficult to extract from our diets alone.
Keeping the circulation healthy is imperative, so exercise should not be something to neglect in times of change. Add an extra stretching session to your day, practice yoga, move that spine and keep it stretchy and youthful. Go for long walks, bike rides, get plenty of fresh air while you move. Make sure a regular sweat is on the routine list and keep your vitality in tact for a healthy immune and circulatory system.
Focus on creativity and connection. Staying spiritually connected is vital in times of change. Create a journal of ideas, inspirations and goals, express your inner being, find that motivation which drives you. Keeping the mind active and creative is as important as staying connected to family and loved ones. Listen to and empathise with others, as well as yourself. Take time out each day to do something for yourself. Stay in tune!
Sleep is one of the biggest contributing factors to our health which so many of us neglect to recognise. If we try to focus on getting eight uninterrupted hours of sleep per night we could be well on the way to optimum health. This isn’t easy for anyone but it’s a goal to set ourselves. Create a cosy bedtime ritual, light gently scented relaxing candles, play soft music, try meditation audio books, take a hot bath, anything which informs your body and mind that sleep is on its way. Find what works for you and stick to it.
And of course, the other often neglected pillar of health – hydration! During the cooler months we tend to steer further away from drinking water as it is less inviting when we are not warm. Keep some fresh filtered water at room temperature nearby at all times, drink herbal teas, don’t increase you caffeine intake, and try to maintain a steady eight-glass-per-day ritual. And soups and broths also count don’t forget, plus they help you with your daily vegetable count.
All in all we just need to maintain a steady equilibrium by gently shifting things to adapt to the seasonal changes around us. Keep warm, eat well, hydrate, exercise, sleep well, and stay balanced mentally and physically.
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