The seasons have changed and you may have heard and noticed others around you or be personally experiencing more tiredness. This happens between seasons as the sun changes position. As we shift from autumn to winter it becomes lighter later in the mornings and darker earlier in the evening. With less sunlight our brain starts to release less serotonin, our natural uplifting hormone.
As we head towards winter some individuals start craving more sleep or feel a little flat and do less. In extreme cases some individuals have been diagnosed with SAD Syndrome, which can be quite debilitating as it triggers depression, lethargy and lack of motivation. Maintaining an awareness of how you are feeling is crucial as individuals can experience the lesser or greater of what I have described. It’s important to realize that you are able to have an impact on how you react to the seasonal change in positive ways.
As you notice the contrast of warm and cool days as the seasons shift to winter and cold weather, sustain your health and well-being with a range of simple actions to build your immune system and stay healthy.
- Reduce stress by learning to stay calm through meditation, positive breathing and other techniques
- Continue exercising or practising yoga
- Drink plenty of water throughout your day
- Make sure you have a good nights sleep
- Enjoy the sun when you can at safe times to sustain vitamin D levels and serotonin
- Eat seasonal vegetables and fruits high in Vitamin C
- Take Anti-Oxidents, Vitamin B12 and or Vitamin C.
Make sure what you take is recommended by a qualified professional to suit your individual situation. It’s good to go to a Health Food Store with a resident Qualified Naturopath or seek the advice of your natural health provider.
Seasonal food plays a role in holistic health. The fruit, vegetables and herbs that appear during the season are the best for your health. The seasonal shift and change is also reflected in nature by the colour of the leaves – red, orange and yellow. Preparing and eating colorful, seasonal related foods is fun. During autumn they look bright and colorful, however it goes beyond that for your health. Some seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs aligned with autumn include:
- Vegetables – such as red cabbage, Asian greens, lettuce, spinach/silver- beet, snake beans, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, avocado, flowering zucchini, ginger.
- Fruit – including plums, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate, kiwifruit, guava, pears, apples -golden/red delicious, fuji, Granny Smith, quince, orange, Valencia lime, lemons and grapefruit are available all year round.
- Herbs – mint and basil – and all year round bay leaves, chives, coriander, dill, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon.
Learning to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise, including the body mind connection, is essential. You can eat the most healthy foods, however if the body is stressed the immune system is lowered and your body doesn’t absorb all the essential vitamins and minerals to sustain healthy living.
Learning how to understand stress and stress patterns and knowing how to let them go is the key to living a healthy life. Thinking positively creates a chemical reaction in the brain that supports you, breathing positively calms your nervous system, feeds your vital organs and allows your digestive system and other organs to function with health, balance and momentum.
Its also important to learn how to tune your vehicle (the body) with the right fuel whether it is oxygen, thoughts or food. By getting to know yourself more deeply from within, you create your healthy inner environment. Then when you add food and exercise you’ll function at your maximum potential.
The last tip to access serotonin by simply smiling. Smiling sends a signal to your brain to release it. So, smile your way through Autumn and Winter and you’ll look and feel great, boost your immune system and even uplift others around you, as smiling is infectious in a positive way.
About the Author: Jane Ribinskas started Yoga Concepts as a long term vision.She has extensive experience in the corporate area as well as over 30 years experience in practising teaching,Yoga,meditation , writing and offering personal development workshops and retreats for individuals to live a healthier happier life and meet their full potential.