I wanted to write about how to live… “living” our best fall. For starters lets be real and acknowledge the transition into Fall was rather abrupt even for us Iowa goers. That being said, Autumn is a season for grounding and giving. Both greatly influence our energy and health as we try to find balance before winter. As we ebb and flow in between the seasons it’s easy to feel a little off- balance. The flux in temperatures, gray skies, and relentless rain can cause fatigue in mood and spirit. Beyond the physical exhaustion- schedules, holiday planning and extreme excessiveness thwarts our self-care efforts if we are not mindful.
My hope for all of us this season and beyond is to create a more focused mindful routine. Work to pursue our passions: what makes us happy – makes us glow. At the same time, lets continue to let go of habits, food, and relationships that aren’t supporting us. This frees up time and energy to devote to self-care and self- love. This care and love will create opportunities for nourishment and mindfulness that will keep your stress-hormones in check. Suppressing cortisol supports a healthy weight, and metabolism that works in your favor. Not to mention increased energy, moods and immunity as cold and flu season arrives.
As we ground this season, nestle in and enjoy the “cozy” in life there is much to be said in giving ourselves the gift of self-care. To listen to what our body needs, repeating the thoughts, intentions and practices that leave us feeling radiant. You are always one choice away from a healthy weight and a healthy life – Choose Self Care.
I talk a lot about self-care – and the best self-care is what truly serves you but I am a sucker for a list. Hopefully you can find a couple tips below that speaks to your soul and the changing season.
Take the time to listen and check in to see what it is you most need this season. Then create a daily intention that will help guide you in all your choices. Your intention should remind you that life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful; developing a healthy growth and balance mindset leads to resilience and well-being. My intention for the remainder of this year is “present over perfect”
I will speak to my own experience here. As soon as the season shifts I feel it everywhere- my mind, my mood, my body. Optimizing my Vitamin D3 (10,000 IUS) has helped regulate my mood. D3 has also helped minimize the cold that hangs out in my joints. I take Omega 3,6,9 and a mineral/herbal supplement (both have many important functions including playing a role in mood balance, immunity and inflammation) I take in plenty of ginger (and not all in Moscow Mules) and of course cinnamon. I have been experimenting with Tumeric and Holy Basil to calm anxiety which creates the mindfulness I’ve lost.
I have been an essential oil user for over 15 years now for topical use and aromatherapy. I love that more research is being done to determine appropriate use for mind and body health. Whether you use oils for calming or energizing, for pain relief or reducing inflammation, they are not cure-alls but can play a role in maintaining physical and mental health. I love my diffuser and tis the season for the aroma of cinnamon and pumpkin.
The truth is, if we live eyes and heart wide open, we understand that each season brings us gifts. Get out for walks if possible; collect leaves or beautiful rocks to bring some nature home with you to boost immunity, mood and decrease stress.
Moderate movement increases GABA and serotonin naturally (inhibitory or calming neurostransmitters) but simply moving our bodies makes us feel more competent and confident in the skin we’re in, regardless of size or fitness gains. As I have aged, my movement goals have changed dramatically. I don’t workout as often, or as vigorous but I love my SISU(strength and cardio conditioning) and my Yoga. I intend to age joyfully and feel strong in my body. While I may not be training for Tri’s, Ultra/Marathons or shorter races….I am always training for life.
You’ve heard this countless times before, right? But this is because routinely giving thanks reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Gratitude correlates to improved physical well-being, better sleep and even lower blood pressure. Consider using a simple journal and as part of your morning and evening routines, write out a few things for which you are grateful. Or, simply express gratitude in your thoughts!
It’s easy to hit the new school year running and end up frazzled and depleted long before Christmas. And busy does not actually mean connected. You need your inner circle for friendship, laughter and to hash things out when you feel run down. Text, arrange phone calls, get away for a weekend together. Plan date nights with your partner and create intentional time with your children. These relationships keep us grounded and healthy.
I know you’re busy but taking 10 – 30 minutes each day to still your body and mind and practice self-nourishment can keep you energized, healthy and happier throughout the fall and winter. A hot bath with lavender salts and peppermint oil, a reading break with your favorite author, meditate with red wine, fireplace and jazz, a hot mug of tea, a journaling break… all these things can remind you that you matter. Reminding yourself that you do not have to constantly perform or fill everyone else’s cup while neglecting your own is one small but powerful act of self-compassion with extensive benefits to mind and body. You cannot pour out what you do not possess.
I packed a lot of self-care tips into this list and hope they prove useful to you. I hope you can apply if just one of these ideas in your life so that you move through the darker, colder season with Health, Warmth, Light & JOY. I would love to hear from you on which tips resonated with you. I’m embracing 8.