Many of our massage and facial clients are feeling changes in themselves as fall deepens and begins the long transition into the holidays and winter. Some frequent concerns we're hearing with this change of season are:
Feelings of sadness
If you're experiencing any of the above, or just not feeling like yourself, come in for a seasonal massage "tune up" to help your body, mind, and spirit adapt to this energetic change in nature.
Here are 6 other things you can do to stay balanced during this transition:
- Get more sleep. With the time change and shortening days, your body will naturally require more deep rest. Fewer daylight hours mean less exposure to sunlight, and sunlight hitting your retinas is part of what sets up healthy circadian sleep rhythms. Accept that this is part of nature and don't feel guilty about going to bed earlier or sleeping a little longer. Embrace the afternoon nap.
- Drink more water. In the heat of summer, you're keenly aware that you need to keep a water bottle close by to stay hydrated. As the weather cools, your body isn't handing out the same pushy reminders it did during that August heat wave — and that's exactly why you're more at risk of becoming dehydrated when the temperature drops. Water affects every part of your body, so keep it flowing all year round.
- Get out in the sun. Those suffering from anxiety or depression often report a spike in symptoms during autumn. All of us need light, though, and the shorter, darker days can make us feel lethargic or low on energy. The solution is simple -- get outside. A 15-minute walk outside in the sun can raise the level of vitamin D in your body and help ease the "fall blues." If your schedule doesn't allow for outside time during the day, or you live in an area where daylight hours are shorter, think about investing in a light therapy box.
- Get grounded. As the seasons shift, make some shifts within yourself and to begin to cultivate stillness in your daily life. Just like Mother Nature is preparing for a long winter’s rest, start to draw your energy inward - choose one way to start or end your day, and make it a ritual. This is a good time to reconsider the influences you are inviting into your world. Notice how much time you spend watching TV, on your computer, or on your cell phone and be willing to move to quieter, more introspective activities. Write. Meditate. Read. Relax in a warm bath with some calming essential oils such as lavender, clarysage, or Ylang-Ylang. You'll find that cutting your "screen time" by even 15 - 20 minutes a day will make a big difference.
- Adapt your exercise routine, or try a new one. During the summer, you may have ridden your bike for miles, swum laps, and gone to high-energy Zumba classes. As the weather cools, you may feel better doing long, deep stretching or getting your cardio through hiking. Mix it up -- it’s good for your brain (and body) to get a little uncomfortable sometimes. Check in with your body and what it needs, whether it's getting stronger, more flexible or just more in tune.
- Learn to let go. The change in season often ushers in other life shifts. School activities, adjusted work schedules, and holiday planning start to pile up and it can feel like your life is out of control. In many cultures, fall is a time to let go of whatever no longer serves us. Examine your life for ways to simplify -- maybe fewer (but more meaningful) activities; perhaps one-pot meals that can be reheated; consider paring down holiday decorating or baking. And don't be afraid to ask for help -- shifting some of your workload can be very freeing.
Final note: Here's a lovely essential oil recipe to help with your seasonal transition. You can add a few drops to a bath, or diffuse throughout your home. Or, try our own "Serenity Now" blend.
3 drops juniper
1 drop spearmint
3 drops clove
2 drops cardamom
Add to a diffuser, or disperse in a warm bath (for sensitive skin, add 1/2 tsp of a carrier oil).