Autumn is considered a season of introspection, letting go, and purification. The lungs are believed to be more vulnerable during this time, making it important to protect and strengthen them. People may be more prone to respiratory conditions such as allergies, asthma, and coughs during this season.
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests various practices to support health and balance during autumn. These may include:
Eating seasonally: Consuming autumn foods such as root vegetables, apples, pears, squash, and pomegranates. These foods are believed to nourish the lungs and large intestine.
Hydration: Drinking warm fluids like herbal teas to keep the lungs moist and prevent dryness, I personally enjoy ginger tea with honey on those especially cold days.
Regulating sleep: Following the natural rhythm of the season and ensuring regular, adequate sleep to support immunity and overall health.
Breathing exercises: Engaging in deep breathing exercises to improve lung function and strengthen the respiratory system.
Acupuncture: Seeking treatment to address specific imbalances and promote overall wellbeing during these months to keep colds and flus at bay.
The principles of Chinese medicine aim to align with the natural cycles and rhythms of the seasons and the body. By embracing the qualities and practices of autumn, individuals can support their physical and emotional health during this transitional time.
Looking after yourself during the colder months
Boost your immune system: As the weather gets colder, it's important to strengthen your immune system to prevent illnesses. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and consider taking supplements like vitamin C and zinc.
Stay active: Cold weather might make you feel like hibernating indoors, but staying active is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. Bundle up and go for walks, try indoor exercises, or join a gym to keep your body active and your mood elevated.
Stay hydrated: Though it's not as hot as summer, staying hydrated is still crucial during autumn. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive consumption of warm beverages like coffee and tea, as they may dehydrate you further.
Prioritize self-care: With shorter days and longer nights, make self-care a priority. Take warm baths, indulge in your favorite hobbies, practice mindfulness or meditation, and pamper yourself regularly. Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is essential during the gloomy autumn days.
Dress for the season: Ensure you have appropriate clothing to keep yourself warm and cozy during this time. Layer up with sweaters, jackets, scarves, and hats to protect yourself from the cold weather. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes to keep your feet warm and dry.
Keep a routine: As the days get darker, it's common to experience a change in mood or energy levels. Establishing a routine can help regulate your body's internal clock and keep you feeling balanced. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, eat meals at regular times, and plan activities that bring you joy.
Embrace nature: Although it might be colder outside, make an effort to spend time in nature. Go for walks in colorful parks, visit orchards, or simply enjoy the crisp air and falling leaves. Being in nature has numerous benefits for your mental and physical health.
Remember, self-care is essential year-round, but it becomes even more important during the autumn season. Take the time to prioritize your well-being, and you'll be better equipped to enjoy the beauty and coziness that autumn brings.