Fall is in the air. As the leaves begin to drop and the air grows crisp, women everywhere are trading in their flip-flops for boots and setting their sights on new seasonal goals. But, as with all changes, it’s important not to take things too fast. Transitioning into shorter days and cooler temperatures can take a toll on our systems if we’re not careful, so finding balance is crucial. Here’s six simple ways to keep yourself healthy this season.
1. Lose the all or nothing mentality
If you’re anything like the majority, you’ve set your bar high this month. Too high. Like animals, many people tend to overdo it this time of year as they scurry around preparing for colder weather. We might not be gathering twigs and yarn to build our nests, but we are nesting – and it’s natural! But this type of hyperactive behavior can be harmful if it goes too far, so practice the art of moderation. You can still accomplish everything on your list, but you don’t have to do it all today. Slow down, take a few breaths, and then start your hibernation early by curling up with a good book and a hot cup of herbal tea!
2. Nourish with fall foods
As we enter the last few months of the year, the landscape begins to change dramatically – and so should our diet. According to Chinese Medicine, Autumn is a time to introduce warm foods such as hearty soups and stews, and rich, nourishing fruits and vegetables like apples, sweet potatoes and squash. Dark, leafy greens are beneficial any time of the year, but these nutrient-rich plants contain high doses of Vitamin C, which helps boost immunity and ward off those pesky “back-to-school” germs.
Play around with some new spice mixtures (garlic, turmeric, ginger and cayenne are all ideal for maintaining health) and invite more healthy fats like coconut and hemp oil into your meals. Take your time in the kitchen and enjoy the act of cooking itself, which can be extremely therapeutic and meditative – a beneficial practice during any time of change. Like to bake? These Autumn Wellness Muffins are addicting.
3. Get plenty of rest
Remember – you are a part of nature’s cycle. Just as the trees and plants are preparing to sleep, so should you! While you might feel obligated to burn the midnight oil working on new projects this season, such patterns can quickly deplete your energy, take a toll on your immune system, and even contribute to weight gain. Instead, set aside a chunk of time during the day to complete your tasks so that you can get some shut eye once the sun goes down.
4. Be thankful
This is an important one. Though Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, this is the time of year that we’re most likely to take advantage of what we have. As we strive for success by setting new goals and working around the clock, the people and things in our life tend to get set aside. Dedicate some time each day to sit and contemplate everything you’re grateful for. It might seem like a waste of time, but it’s actually a very healing practice that can help relieve your restless ambition and reestablish a state of peace in your life. Want to take it a step further? Say thank you to family and friends by catching up on your correspondence! Everyone loves receiving mail, and it’s a great way to tell them all how much you care.
5. Check your Vitamin D levels
As most of us know, a lot of our Vitamin D comes from the sun. As the days grow shorter and we start to spend more time indoors, our levels can quickly drop. To keep your health in check, invest in a D supplement to ensure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient. Unsure? Book an appointment with your doc! It’s never a bad time to get checked out.
6. Stop to smell the… leaves!
Autumn is a beautiful time. It reminds us of the impermanence of life and emphasizes how important it is to live in the present moment. It encourages us to seek comfort in warm sweaters and pumpkin lattes, and protects us in a shroud of beautiful, vibrant leaves. So take some time to enjoy it!