It’s quite miraculous to notice how the female body mirrors our natural environment. Just as there are four phases of the menstrual cycle, there are four seasons that each bring their own unique experiences. Adjusting our routines – with regards to our diets, form of movements, and self-care practices – in accordance with nature can help us feel our best throughout the year. As we transition into cooler weather, here are some tips to take into the fall season.
- Eat warm, cooked food
While you may have been putting your blender to work this summer making smoothies and other frozen delights, fall is the time to opt for warming meals. Chinese medicine explains that cold foods and ice drinks tax the digestive system and can increase hormonal changes. Symptoms like brittle hair and nails, irritability, and bloating can all result. Instead of smoothies, try a warm bowl of oatmeal or scrambled eggs. Make hearty, filling soups and roast up trays of root vegetables like beets and squashes. The best way to follow the course of nature is to explore your local farmer’s market to see what crops are in season. Move over pineapples and Pina Coladas, hello pumpkin and potatoes.
- Give yourself an oil massage
There’s nothing more luxurious than lathering on a beautiful body oil. But this simple practice has benefits beyond making your skin soft. “Abyanga” the Ayurvedic practice of oil massage has been used to balance the body by increasing blood circulation and decreasing physical stress. To take it even further, consider a body oil made specifically to support female hormones, such as Meadowfoam Seed Oil.
- Rest more
When the sun goes down, so should you. Accept the shortened daylight hours as an invitation to catch some extra Z’s. In our “busy happy” world, the importance of rest is often overlooked. But sleep is vital for overall health. Studies show that those who miss out on sleep are at increased risk for depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Furthermore, lack of sleep impacts levels of hormones such as insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin, which can lead to increases in cravings carbohydrates and sugar. Increasing consumption of these types of foods raises estrogen levels, further complicating the female hormone cycle and potentially contributing to conditions like PCOS and PMS.
In order to optimize your sleep, try establishing a nighttime routine. Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed, read a fiction book, do some light stretches, and/or sip on an herbal tea. Ensure that your bedroom is a calming space, and try to reserve your room for sleeping only (with just one exception…).
Fall represents a time of rejuvenation after expending excess energy throughout the summer. We hope that these tips help you feel more centered in your mind and connected to your body.