I know many people love fall. And I get it. I, too, love the leaves turning and building a fire and wearing cozy clothing… It’s just not my favorite time of the year, for many reasons. I have learned to appreciate it and I have learned how to care for myself during this time, but I don’t like being cold, I miss the sunshine, the long days and unfortunately the holidays have historically been seasoned with stressful situations and unnecessary drama. So, I like to get really specific and intentional about what I need to do to stay in balance and thrive in this season and through the next.
Gratitude Practice: This is by far the most important of all. I remember learning about the importance of gratitude in my psych of happiness class but it wasn’t until I was in desperate need that I began to really, truly, act on it. I can tell you I never want to get back to that place, which is why I like to create a fresh commitment to this practice every fall. When I first started my gratitude practice it changed my life. There are many ways I cultivate my gratitude practice, and it changes throughout the year. Summer is light and airy, fall is getting deeply rooted. Fall is when I go back to the basics and dig in. There are many scientifically known benefits of practicing gratitude including a greater sense of experienced happiness, decreased stress, increased sleep quality, a feeling of being connected to something much bigger than yourself, a reduced feeling of loneliness and these are just some that I can mention off of the top of my head. As the days become shorter and darker, people tend to isolate more. Many people experience some degree of Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during these months, and many experience added stress, burnout, and old triggers resurface over the holiday season. Cultivating a gratitude practice is the best defense I know to combat these issues and be proactive in protecting and cultivating a felt sense of happiness.
The Attitude of Gratitude
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” —Will Arnett
“Gratitude is riches. Complain is poverty.” —Doris Day
Breathwork: In fall I like to add in a few breathing techniques that increase my body temperature. There are many breathwork modalities that can warm your body and reignite or keep the fire within burning, bringing energy to all of your internal systems. I make sure to incorporate these into my daily practices throughout the colder months of the year. If you would like to know some of my favorite methods let me know. I have many resources to share.
“Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”
Dry brushing: This stimulates our superficial lymph system to get moving in our body, helping us detox and improve our skin quality. You can find many videos on YouTube about the best way to do this practice. This is similar to my practice, just remember not to push too hard. I also like to do circles on the palm of my hands for extra energy in the morning. This is similar to the dry brush I have. It is also good for travel as you can remove the handle when needed.
Unlike the blood in our body, the lymph system has no internal pump. Exercise, breathwork and manual stimulation helps circulate the lymph which is always working to defend our body.
A healthy lymphatic system can fight off 80% of chronic disease such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis…
-DR. GERRY LEMOLE
Oil massage with ayurvedic oils. In Ayurveda the name for this practice is Abhyanga. It is done with warm oil starting at the scalp and ending with your feet. This massage is meant to nourish the entire body and has many health benefits associated with it. This is a good self love practice, as you check in with how your body feels during the gentle massage of the oil on your body. It is a good time to be intentional about caring for yourself. I usually cheat and apply room temperature oil to most of my body after dry brushing, skipping my scalp and bottom of my feet before my shower. I let it sit on my skin as long as I can. Some days I have more time than others, but I feel my skin really needs this moisture in the winter months. When I do take the time to do the entire practice of warming the oil and entire body massage I know I reap more benefits, and enjoyment, but shortcuts are necessary sometimes, too. This is my favorite oil.
Aromatherapy: I use essential oils every single day. They help me ease pain, uplift my mood, ease stress and assist me in changing my own vibration/frequency. I am loving this one a little extra over the changing seasons. It is woody, sweet and instills an imediate sense of balance into my life.