If you’re looking for some simple lifestyle and diet tips to support your overall health this fall season, you’re in the right place! Not only are these tips manageable and easy to apply to your daily life, they’re incredibly effective in keeping your body, mind and spirit in balance based on the energies of fall. Don’t underestimate their straightforward nature; I always say: “the magic is in the simplicity”.
A little background on the energy of fall and how it correlates with our health:
Fall is a time of letting go, slowing down, and receiving. It’s a time of rejuvenation and deep nourishment after the high energy, heat, and action of summer, and a time to receive the benefits and growth from the work you’ve put in over spring and summer. Can you feel the energy shift in this way?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), fall is associated with structure and communication, the emotions of worry and grief, and the lungs and large intestine. There is an emphasis on supporting these organs as well as our emotional health. And in Ayurveda, fall is Vata season which holds the qualities of dry, light, rough, windy, erratic, cool, subtle, mobile, and clear. Vata governs movement and communication, and heavily influences the mind. Being out of balance in fall can bring fear, anxiety, forgetfulness, loneliness, physical and energetic exhaustion, twitches and tremors, poor communication, joint issues, constipation, dry skin, and nervous system imbalances.
Because we are not separate from nature or our surroundings, what manifests around us also manifests within us. And health is not just about our physical bodies; we have to address all parts of ourselves, how we live our lives, and what influences us in our surroundings. It’s all connected and it all matters.
Here are 8 dietary and lifestyle tips you can focus on during this season to best support your body, mind, and spirit, and that correlate with the beliefs of both TCM and Ayurveda:
- Create routines
- The energy of fall can feel erratic, expansive and mobile as the winds pick up and the temperature drops. Establishing and sticking to a routine can bring a much needed sense of stability and regularity to your life, and can help to channel that energy into its greatest potential. It can also help you hold healthy habits in place to provide the best nourishment for your body, mind and spirit. You can create regular meal times, bed times, and wake up times, a regular morning and night time routine, etc. Think consistency, and focus on supporting your current needs. Don’t be afraid to adjust your routines at any point if needed!
- Schedule in regular moments for creativity
- Fall often brings a sense of clarity to our minds and our lives, and it’s a beautiful time to use your sharp mind to get creative and inspired, to make plans and dream big, and stay connected to something bigger than yourself. Especially in Vata season, being out of balance can cause feelings of fear and anxiousness, so keeping connected and inspired can help keep you grounded. Make time to do whatever brings you joy and fills you with inspiration. Challenge yourself, but make sure it’s not causing you stress.
- Get organized
- This is a season of structure and organization, which allows for and creates space for inspiration, creativity, and planning. Clean and organize anywhere that feels cluttered: garage, closet, desk, computer files, kitchen, etc., so that you can put your energy towards creation.
- Release what is no longer serving you
- Fall is all about letting go; look at the trees releasing their leaves as a beautiful example. Spend some time with yourself to cultivate awareness and tune into what you’re holding onto that is holding you back and no longer serving you. Sitting with yourself and journaling can be a beautiful tool for this. Process through it, and allow yourself to let it go. Some ideas to more deeply facilitate a release: Physically dance and shake it out of your body, cry and vocally release it, and/or write it all down on a loose sheet of paper and burn it in a fire safe setting.
- Focus on soft, warm foods
- Some of the energies of fall are dry, rough, and light. Especially if you are feeling these qualities and energies in your mind and body, it’s important to counteract them by consuming foods that are soft, warm, cooked, and grounding to help bring you back into balance. Ayurveda holds the belief that “like increases like”, so the aim is to focus on foods that are opposite of nature’s current energy.
- Prioritize real, whole foods
- This one always applies, and is always important! Keeping your focus on real, whole foods will naturally nudge out your consumption of highly processed foods, and support your digestive and immune systems which can typically take a hit during fall. This is a simple way to support and care for your body by providing it with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
- Include protein and healthy fats
- This is another point that always applies and is always important, but especially during fall and winter! Protein and healthy fats will help you to feel grounded, nourished, and satiated, all of which will help you to maintain balance physically and energetically.
- Limit raw, cold, dry, bitter foods
- If you’re out of balance in fall, you want to do your best to eat foods with the opposite qualities of the season. Raw, cold, dry and bitter foods will only exacerbate the fall energy and the symptoms of imbalance, which brings us pack to dietary tip number one as a solution!
There is so much you can do in your daily life to keep yourself healthy in body, mind and spirit. Looking to dive deeper into this topic? My Fall Seasonal Wellness Guide is all about how to stay in tune and balanced through the fall season. It empowers you with education on these topics, and plenty of tangible resources to keep you inspired and for you to put into action.