Now is the time to look after yourself…

In my acupuncture clinic over the last week or two, I have been hearing three main themes.  These include: an apprehension of the impending winter; lower energy levels; and craving more food/gaining a few pounds.  All three of these experiences are common, normal and to be expected.  Look around at the trees, their sap is going back within, their leaves are losing nutrients and falling to the ground.  This is a vital time of year to turn within and letting go of what no longer serves us, learning from what we have experienced this solar year, and preparing to nourish our energy over the next few months until the spring returns.

This time of year, the nights are drawing in at a great rate and our energy is quietening down.  This is nature working within us.  We crave more hot food, carbs and calories in general as our body wants us to stock up before the long winter ahead when in more traditional times, food was scarce in the winter time and we would lose weight.  This is not the time of year to expect to diet very successfully and certainly not with cold food.  If you are trying to lose weight, the spring is a better time to expect greater results but if you do need to diet now, then do it with hot soups and stews with plenty of pungent and boosting herbs and spices – ginger, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, watercress, horseradish, rocket etc

If you have apprehension of the impending dark and cold, try and stay in the moment as much as possible.  Try to restrain your mind from negatively projecting into the future. We might end up having a beautiful, sunny winter which might have some delightful surprises in store for you.  We can never know, but by negatively and anxiously looking to our unknown future, we ruin the present moment by not feeling good.

Plan activities that you know you enjoy and that boost your mood – which may be more winter related – a good sunday roast, a log fire, maybe a sauna or hot tub, a walk in the countryside as soon as there is some sunshine to keep up your vitamin D levels.  On sunny days, get out as early and for as long as possible, especially in the middle of the day when the light levels are the highest as the light hits the back of your eyes and boosts your brain function and serotonin levels, thereby increasing your mood.

Other ideas include:
Light candles.  Have fairy lights around your house to increase the light.  Start a new creative indoor hobby.  Make the effort to go out in the evenings to activities that you know nourish you – choir, meeting a friend, receiving a massage, yoga class etc
Get an essential oil diffuser and use uplifting oils.
Get more sleep, go to bed earlier with a good book.
Long, hot, candle lit baths.
Listen to soothing music or uplifting music.
Listen to guided meditations that boost your mood and energy – please find some of these on my website: www.elainegibbons.co.uk.

Prioritise your self-care now.