The sun starts to distance itself from our position on the earth and everything starts to cool down again. The summer has left us plenty of food to store and keep us going through winter.
Sometimes in autumn we can be affected by wind and dryness. Dryness can lead to chapped lips, dry skin and hair, dry eyes and dry cough. As it penetrates and dries internally, it can even lead to constipation. If fluid has been depleted from our blood, then our minds are deprived of it and the oxygen it contains which can lead to lower moods.
To boost fluids drink water, apple, mango and orange juices. And have plenty of neutral, sour and salty fluids. Foods that are oily, like nuts, seeds and olive oil will also help. All these foods have a common property, they all tend to hold and retain fluids in the body.
In autumn the wind can be a very dangerous element too. It tends to increase and drive the other types of weather deeper into us. In summer it can push the heat against our skin, drying it out more quickly.
Or with the cold in winter, it can push fresh cold against us constantly. This prevents our skin from having any chance to heat itself and can quickly drain energy, strength and life out from our bodies.
Always try to avoid exposure to the wind and keep the body well wrapped up to protect against it...
The benefit of winter, is that it gives our bodies a chance to slow, rest and cool down. This conserves and restores fluids and essences that have been used and burnt up during the hot summer months. As everything slows, physical things start to huddle together, and congeal and thicken.
If we are wise and follow nature. If we eat and do the right things, we will allow the building blocks that support and renew our organs and bodies to become somewhat replenished during this time.
If however, we are reckless in winter. If we step out of line with nature or eat too many heating foods, instead of having a storehouse of nutrients for the year ahead, we will face it from an already weakened and depleted position.
So what should we do in winter ? Well we don’t have to do too much extra. We can start by following the other healthy tips already discussed in this blog. And then add in a couple of extra ones, to do with the weather.
Lack of sun, and the cold and damp are the main problems we have to face in winter. The cold is obviously caused by the earth rotating its position away from the sun. The sun has then less of a chance to provide energy to your part of the world. With less energetic charges in the air, there is less heat and everything becomes colder. With less heat to dry, everything starts to become more damp. Dew forms on the grass in the mornings. And condensation appears on the windows. When it rains, the puddles lie on the ground and as there is no heat to dry them, they are not evaporated and end up slowly sinking into it. The ground can then become waterlogged with mucky puddles.
Too much cold and damp in the body tend to weaken and block up your energy and circulation. Fluids will congeal and thicken. They can block up and impede the workings of your joints, your organs and even your mind. You tend to get symptoms like feelings of heaviness, tiredness and being weighed down. Your head can feel cloudy, your thoughts muddled and even a little confused. Your nose might feel stuffy or runny; and your mouth sticky or filled with phlegm. Your lungs may be congested and produce mucus. The digestive system may slow and cool, leading to even more thick fluids in the body, poor absorption of nutrients and perhaps even indigestion. All these problems will further reduce your already weakened energy reserves.
Energy levels reduce considerably in winter time. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, the sun gives us less heat and energy. The external cold itself will also drain and pull energy from our warm bodies into it. And finally the body has to now waste its own energy, trying to create heat to balance against the external cold.
Cold also causes things to contract and tighten. So as it gets into muscles and joints, it can cause them to seize and become painful. As energy and movement slow, the physical gathers, swelling and reducing space, causing pressure on nerve endings and leading to pain and stiffness.
The lungs on exposure to cold air, can constrict and tighten severely, leading to increased occurrence of asthma and lung disorders.
Cold can leave the immune system weak and the body defenseless, as there is not enough energy to create the army of white cells needed to defeat any viral bugs and invaders.
The mind too can also suffer, as there is not enough power to keep it stimulated and running at peak levels. Many people therefore experience a dip in mood in January and February as their energy reserves are running low.
To protect ourselves from the negative effects of cold in winter, it is quite obvious that we need to wrap up warmly, to wear lots of layers of clothes. Forget about fashion, your health is way more important. Make sure you have lots on you. Wear trousers, long johns, thermal underwear, hats, scarves and gloves, whatever it takes to keep you warm.
If you start to get cold, you are quite simply letting the life force energy be drained out of you. At this stage, from reading past blog articles, you should be starting to understand how important your energy is to your entire well-being, so protect it from the cold as much as you possibly can.
If you were exposed to extreme cold, you could get hypothermia and even die. But any exposure at all is still depleting you. So wrap up and keep warm when you are outside and inside.
Follow all those old sayings your granny used to tell you. Don’t go to bed with wet hair or sleep in draughts. Change out of wet clothes and so forth.
Next up we can introduce more warming and active foods into our diets. These will help to balance the external cold. You can add small amounts of spices and alcohol. But still be careful, if you get carried away and use too much, you can actually create excessive internal heat. This may aggravate your system and lead to illnesses. Also by overheating your body, you will undo the natural replenishing effect that winter has on you. So use heating foods in moderation. Just enough to bring you back into balance and avoid damage from over cooling.
Finally, slow down, rest more, sleep more and take it easy. Don’t try to do the same workload as you do in the summer. Just as animals hibernate, plants lose their flowers and leaves and retreat back into themselves, the human body and mind should regather its composure, rebuild its nutrients and essences and wait patiently for the spring. Ready then to burst forth again in growth and shine in the full bloom of life.