October moving into November means the clocks will be going back, this means winter is upon us; the sun will set earlier and the days will become shorter.
Embrace the changes this winter and work with the season rather than against it, to ensure you feel energised and positive throughout the next couple of months.
There are physical and emotional ramifications that accompany the loss of sunlight during the winter, such as sleep disruption, depression, and appetite changes. Depending on factors like personality, individual physiology and your elemental makeup, people will experience these effects differently. The dark can make us feel more lethargic, more exhausted and depressed. A lack of motivation is commonly noted during the winter months, to get up in the morning, to eat well or to do daily life tasks.
Ayurveda suggests to have balance in your life to look at what you are eating, your daily habits and rituals, and work around the seasons and your current dosha. If you’re not sure, which dosha – vata, pitta or kapha – you are, please take our test here.
There are a few things you can do to keep motivated and positive in order to restore balance and feel energised throughout the winter months and enjoy the festive season with your family and friends.
7 ways to stay energised this winter
- Start earlier.
Getting up earlier, even if only by 15 minutes, can be a boost. That extra bit of sunlight at the start of your day can help kick start your internal clock.
- Watch your diet.
Amp up your intake of autumns seasonal food, like apples, pumpkin, squash, kale, carrots, and brussel sprouts. Eating produce that’s in season is good for your health, plus it creates a positive connection to the season, balancing your dosha and its accompanying changes. There’s a list of seasonal food here.
- Be mindful.
The seasons change and so do our bodies; therefore our daily habits should change to match. Work with the season: wake before the sunrise, limit your time on the screens before bed and remember to keep warm.
- Rest and restore
Spend more time nourishing yourself, finding stillness and focussing on self-care. Take a warm bath at least once a week and wear socks to retain more body heat. Or take a moment out to give yourself a massage (dinacharya)— in the winter it’s great to use products like warming sesame oil—or our Vata body oil, will help you stay steady and feel comforted.
- Surround yourself with people
Vata depression is sustained by loneliness. Try spending as much time as possible with other people
Balance your Kapha energy by moving each day in a way you enjoy; get outside and bask in the Winter sun on a brisk walk, practice asana, swim, cycle or dance around the living room. Whatever works for you, keep moving and even better if it’s outside.
- Be grateful
Some days, everything seems bad. One of the most powerful ways to re-energize yourself on an awful day is to remind yourself of just one thing in your life that is wonderful. Sit facing East, as you are then flowing with nature’s elemental direction and begin your gratitude practice. As you do this you become present and feel positive about all that’s been and is to come. Positive psychology research has found that a practise of gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness and helps people to think more positive thoughts, appreciate good experiences and improve their overall health.
There are many ways to approach the moment of gratitude, but the most effective way is to write it down, as this creates a more realistic vision. Other ways to start the day well you can find out here.
Embrace the changes and start these positive Ayurvedic tips now before the clocks wind back, to get a head start and keep energised and warm throughout the upcoming months.