Updated: Sep 2, 2020
The transition from summer to autumn is well underway and the cooler weather and darker nights are coming in.
For some this is a time where you may start to feel nervous, anxious or unsettled and experience insomnia, dry skin and cracking joints. It’s also a time when your immune system may dip letting in the seasonal bugs, colds and flu's.
In Yoga and Ayurveda, this is a time when we start to turn inward and align to the seasonal rhythms to ground ourselves emotionally and boost the immune system to
ward off illness.
Here are some ideas on how you might do this for yourself and stay well this fall......
1. Start the Day in a Healthy Way
Zip warm water with lemon (or lime) first thing in the morning before you drink or eat anything else. This is a great way of flushing out toxins and supporting your digestive system which is key to good health.
2. Get Your Vitamin C and D
Vitamin C contributes to normal immune system functioning. Natural supplements are one way of making sure you are getting at least the daily recommended amount for adults which is 65 – 90 mg’s per day.
Alternatively, dark leafy greens, green peas, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, kiwifruit, berries and oranges are all good sources of vitamin c.
The body is designed to get Vitamin D through sensible exposure to the sun which is no easy task in countries like the UK at the best of times but particularly during the darker months.
Essential for immune system functioning, bone health and warding off fatigue and low mood so worth getting the recommended daily amount for adults of at least 10mg's per day.
Good sources include mushrooms, fortified milks, eggs, cheese and tofu. And a little sunshine!
3. Keep Moving
Whilst it’s lovely to be outside in the summer and we are naturally more active, the appeal can be lost for some as the weather starts to shift. However, keeping active is a great way of keeping healthy. Find an enjoyable yoga or exercise class that fits your schedule and keeps you moving both now and through the winter months.
4. Lift your Mood
Have a few mood boosters up your sleeve for if you are feeling a bit low. Comedy shows, movies, books or an uplifting play list that you can turn to if you need a mood lift.
5. Thymus Tapping
The word ‘Thymus’ comes from the Greek word ‘thymos’ which means ‘life energy’. Tapping or thumping the chest area where it is located is believed to increase strength and vitality and boost the immune system.
All you need to do is thump the area in the middle of your chest (think tarzan!) for about 15 seconds. Not too hard but firm enough to make a drumming sound in in the sternum.
6. Manage your stress
High or prolonged stress can have a negative impact on the health of the body. One way to help bring the nervous system down a notch and relax is to breathe.
A simple but effective way to do this is to inhale and exhale fully and slowly into your belly. You can place your hands on your belly to help feel the breath. Don’t force the breath rather allow it to expand slowly with each breath cycle. Do this 5 – 10 times. And relax!
7. Prioritise Sleep
Sleep is essential to good health with a number of the body’s systems essentially resetting overnight. When you don’t sleep well your mood and effectiveness can also be compromised so aim to get 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep each night. One way to help set yourself up to get a good night’s rest is to have a sleep routine. You will find a copy of this on my website or get in touch and I will email this to you.
8. Using Mindfulness to Let Go
Setting aside some quiet time each day to have a break from all the busy and doing is one of the most powerful things you can do for health and wellbeing. As little as 5 minutes a day of a regular meditation can start to bring in some of the many benefits of a regular practice.
As Autumn is a time of letting go, here is a short meditation practice that may help to let go of anything that is not working for you at this time:
Sit upright but relaxed in a chair with your feet flat to the floor and hands palms down on your thighs. Take a few moments to settle and get comfortable.
Close your eyes or soften your gaze to one point and turn your attention to your breath. Watch the breath for a few rounds.
Set an intention to let go of anything that is not working for you and allow thoughts to come in of things that you would like to release.
As thoughts do come up, notice and acknowledge them first and then send them off to be released.
To release you may like to take a full exhale or say ‘I release you’ or if you are a visual person you may like to visualise these as autumn leaves falling from a tree.
Take a few moments when you have finished to perhaps to celebrate a feeling of lightness and calm.
To ground yourself after your meditation, feel your hands on your thighs and feet on the ground. Open your eyes if you closed them and sit quietly for a few moments.
9. Stay Hydrated
As the temperature becomes cooler and the air drier, our system can also become dry both inside and out. Drinking water or warming herbal teas throughout the day is important to keep the body hydrated.
10. Daily Massage
Daily massage can help to keep the lymph system functioning optimally and remove toxins. Using an oil such as sesame or coconut oil can also help to moisturise the skin and oil the joints. Start from the soles of the feet and work up your body to your head using sweeping movements along your muscles towards the heart, and circular movements around your joints. Leave the oil on for a few minutes if possible before showering.