I’m taking advantage of every sunny day we get here in the D.C. area and spend it outdoors, enjoying the fresh crisp air while I walk my dog or do some yard work. Getting fresh air, staying active, and getting sunlight (even though you’re bundled up) is critical in keep the winter blues – better known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – at bay. Here’s a site you can visit for more specific information on this disorder: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/sad
Besides the winter blues, you might find that your rhythm might be off, your appetite might have changed (and not for the better), your nose is dripping again and your throat is sore, and habits you thought you overcame are back to haunt you.
What can you do to keep your body, mind, and spirit as healthy as possible during the cold winter months? The answer can be found in Nature’s Rhythm.
Nature’s Rhythm means that you…
- Scrape your tongue every morning before you brush your teeth
- Eat dinner by sundown
- Go to bed early
- Meditate – even if its only for 1 minute
- Go outside, be with nature, and move (weather permitting)
- Increase your heart rate daily for at least 30 minutes, move your breath
- Get into a yoga class – the key to longevity
- Massage your body with oil – Abhyanga
- Eat a more kapha inspired diet – warm veggies, warm soups, more spices, and avoid dairy & salty foods
- Use nasya oil every morning
- Hydrate and drink herbal teas to keep yourself from snacking like this Ayurvedic invigorating tea:
- 1/2 tsp dried juniper berries (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/search?page=1&q=dried+juniper+berries&utf8=✓)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds
- 1 Tbsp dried gotu kola (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/search?page=1&q=dried+gotu+kola&utf8=✓)
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
Bring to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan 4 cups of water. Reduce heat to low and add all the ingredients above. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or more. Strain & serve with a little honey if you like.
This tea is incredible for clearing the mind and stimulating circulation. Simply sniffing the tea as it is being made can have a positive effect on mental clarity. This also stimulates digestion and expectoration. (Source: Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar)
I didn’t always follow Nature’s Rhythm, which is what the science of Ayurveda prescribes, but ever since I embraced this method of living I was able to – keep the weight off, embrace the change of seasons with ease, strengthen my immune system and I rarely get sick anymore, have more energy, feel more at peace and sleep without waking up in the middle of the night.
I honestly do not feel like my body is decaying as I get older, I feel like I am rejuvenating.
So what’s your rhythm?