Right now, check in with yourself. How is your stress? anxiety? do you feel like you have everything under control or are you barely holding it together?
Summer is fun, we all enjoy the freedoms that come with it- vacations, time in the water, time with friends, the lack of a schedule, but by the end of the summer, I find that many are beginning to feel a little stressed. The summer heat has left them feeling drier, their nerves are beginning to feel frazzled, and the stress is building.
Now that autumn has settled in and the days are getting cooler, people are feeling this stress even stronger. I have had countless conversations lately with people who are feeling extremely scattered and feel the need to be more settled and grounded.
Explaining this from the Ayurvedic perspective can give some insight on how to prevent strong imbalances from happening and how to more easily become balanced. The fall is the beginning of vata season. We can easily see the characteristics of vata, such as cool, light, dry, and mobile manifest as the season changes. The temperature drops, our skin becomes drier- the most typical representation of fall is of the leaves, changing colors, drying out, falling from the trees and blowing in the wind- a perfect image of vata. But how does this show up in our body? When vata is pushed out of balance, this can manifest as overwhelm and anxiety, frazzled nerves, easily stressed, or digestive difficulties like bloating, gas and constipation. As the fall progresses, these symptoms can often become more serious.
How can one bring balance in to combat these things in their life? Many benefit from guidance with a practitioner at this time. It can really get you into a solid place. That is my first suggestion, of course, as I see a lot of success, and vata types have a more difficult time sticking with new rules :) Also, Ayurvedic therapies are ideal at this time also, as they balance vata. Abhyangas (warm oil body therapy) and shirodaras (in which herbal oil is poured over the forehead) will speed up your balancing process exponentially.
Here are some basic, but necessary rules that you can begin with for balancing vata:
*Creating a regular routine for your day
- vata types don't like this one, but I promise that you will get much more done if you stick to a routine!
*Eating on a regular schedule
-Doing this helps in many ways, as it adds to your regular routines needed daily. It also benefits yours digestion. When your body is on a routine, it can prepare to digest your foods better. This also helps with weight gain/ weight loss
*Eating regular meals with cooked, warm, well spiced, grounding foods such as soups and root vegetables.
- Cooked foods are easier to digest and more nourishing to balance the cold that is happening in our external environment. Root vegetables are more grounding and nourishing.
*Regular oiling of your body/skin.
-Also known as self abhyangas. Using a nourishing oil on your entire body daily is beneficial for nourishing the skin and nervous system. This regular practice will support your stress levels in an amazing way!
*Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and omitting cold drinks.
-Stay hydrated to keep your organs and body functioning properly. Cold drinks reduce our digestive fire, making our digestion weaker, and also increase the cold quality in our constitution.
*Practicing doing one thing at a time.
-I know it may sound silly, but for many, this is difficult. Make this your practice, your meditation. Slow down
*Regular meditation practices- even if it is only a few minutes a day. Taking time for the simple practice of deep breathing can change your days.
-Meditation is not just a new age trend. There are many studies showing its benefits for reducing stress and anxiety. There are many options out there, so find something you like.
*While this is a time for cleansing, if you are more of a vata type of person, be careful to avoid cleanses that will add more cold to your constitution. This includes raw juice cleanses- they are not appropriate for everyone.
*Adding in more warming herbs to your teas and food spices will help to balance the cooling properties. Herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are great in your foods and teas. Try tulsi tea- its great as a pick me up, great for colds and congestion and bringing warmth to the lungs.
Questions? Post below in the comment section.