Autumn has arrived, the weather is cooler and the days are getting shorter but you don’t need to hide away and hibernate. Autumn can offer the perfect opportunity to look after yourself so that you can prioritise self care as the busier months and festive season approaches.
Autumn is regarded as a time to pull our energy inward in Eastern Medicine. Autumn means layering up and slowing down. Some may feel a sense of loss or a little low as we lose the daylight hours, but getting outside can boost your mood and cheer you up. Take in the cooler sunshine and soak up the changing colours.
People tend to get sick much more often during Autumn and Winter. This is often because we’re depleted, not living in alignment with the season and in serious need of rest. Sleep is essential to keeping us both happy and healthy. Adults need approximately 7-8 hours every night. Studies show that lack of quality sleep has a negative impact on the immune system, making us more susceptible to colds and viruses that are more prevalent at this time of year.
The majority of our Vitamin D intake comes from the sun. As we tend to stay indoors for longer periods during the Autumn, our intake therefore decreases. Vitamin D is important for fertility, keeping our bones strong and healthy and supporting the immune system. Low vitamin D levels can lead to muscular aches and pains too so if your levels are low, you may wish to consult your GP who can recommend a supplement.
Pumpkin, squash, dark leafy greens, apples and beets are usually in plentiful supply at this time of year. Autumn is a great time to spend time in the kitchen preparing delicious and nutritious meals. Slow cookers are perfect for making soups and stews, not only are the simple one pot meals but the nutrients are locked in.
Of course, a few treats at Halloween is perfectly acceptable but over indulging and filling up on junk and sweets will make you feel sluggish, ruin your appetite and could present problems for your teeth. Everything in moderation.
Hand hygiene is essential for keeping bugs and germs at bay during the Autumn season. Washing your hands more frequently is a must but if you are on the go, some antibacterial hand wipes or sanitising gel should always be in your pocket or bag.
We are all guilty of over committing. No is a powerful word and not one many of us know how or like to use. It’s easier to say yes to everything but then regret it. Taking time out for yourself is so important and saying no is not selfish. It may be necessary to decline in order to reserve energy for yourself and your family.
We hope that you’ll be able to take some of this advice on board in order to stay well this Autumn, remember to get plenty of rest, fresh air and take time for yourself.