Shifting from long, warm days in the summer to cooler, shorter days in the fall can be a wonderful invitation to slow down but can also present challenges to your daily routine. How do you roll over your practical summer habits to a new season? You might be starting up a new school year, place of work, place a living, or simply noticing your body is requesting a different way of being.
In Ayurveda, an ancient wisdom from India, also "the science of life", the change in seasons bring new approaches and elements to your daily habits that align with nature to create less stress in your life.
When you take the habit of going to bed early, it's later in the evening during summer because things are growing so you might go to sleep around 11pm. But as fall steps in, the days become shorter and are conserving energy for the coming of winter, so going to bed around 10pm might feel more natural.
Our awareness of these shifts can often be blocked by modern life. Living in a house, having our nose in technology, working in a building, and a fast paced to-do list. The seasons and elements (earth, water, ether, air, wind) have always been my favorite aspects of Ayurveda.
Here are some ways to balance out your summer habits with the coming of fall so you can maintain a calm, focused, and joyful daily routine.
Live Slow and Free
You know that care-free feeling of summer? CHOOSE to keep it. Yes, it's a choice. Just because camping days in the sun might be fewer, keep that attitude in your day. When creating plans, decide what matters most and then be open to surprises. Be on technology less at night to maintain that go with the flow attitude. Your brain speeds up on social media. Instead go for an after dinner walk and reflect on the day or simply sit on your porch with the family. Get inspiration from Norway's slow tv.
Keep Going Outside
Depending on where you live, the days and nights have been cooling off and often more rain and wind are in the forecast. Don't let that have you running for the couch. Work with the weather. Switch out your jackets, shoes, and hat collection. The only bad weather is bad clothing and attitude choices. Get muddy, let your hair get tangled in the wind, embrace cold hands (bring tea!) and have more campfires in the backyard.
Continue protecting your skin from the sun and wind with SPF and oils to stay hydrated. Sesame oil is a great fall carrier oil for your face and body.
Lift Weights to Stay Grounded
The elements of fall that affect your mind and body are mobile (doing too much), wind, light, dry, and cold. Fall can have you feeling spacey and scattered brained. When you introduce an opposite quality, like heavy for light, you become balanced. So as we shift into fall, lifting weights in your home or at the gym is a fantastic way to move your body and get grounded.
Lifting doesn't make you bulky but keeps your feet on the ground with a stable mindset. 15-20 mins, 3x a week is a great place to start. I really like kettlebells because they are versatile and you only need one or two to get a whole body workout. Here's a kettlebell workout to try at home.
Summer usually requires a higher water intake because of the sun but fall is just as important. By keeping up your hydration, getting in most of your water before noon, will regulate your body temperature in cooling temps, keep your skin glowing, and your joints lubricated.
The most nourishing way to stay hydrated is cooking vegetables into a warm stew or soup. Warm liquids, including your glass of water or tea, keeps you toasty on the inside and again introduces opposite qualities to the season. Fall brings cold so you bring warmth and cooked foods to stay balanced.
Create a Small Space to Recharge
Fall is the big exhale and letting go before winter. I know, winter. Too soon? Nature is already getting ready, so should you. When you create a space that allows you to relax and collect yourself in this busy world, your mental health will thank you.
Maybe this small space is your meditation cushion with a blanket and candle or a favorite reading nook with a warm drink and house plants. I've created one in the front seat of the van with a plant, sage, oils, and the paper atlas. Create downtime within your day, even for 1 minute, to fill your own cup.