Summer isn’t officially over until September 22, but there’s no denying a shift is already happening. The days are getting shorter, the breeze has a chill to it and a feeling of anticipation permeates the air. (Or maybe that’s just me still remembering my excitement and anxiety of school starting ;-). Regardless, Fall is on the way!
After the busy energy of the summer sun, it’s time to start shifting to the rejuvenating spirit of Autumn. As inherent in all transitions, a time of change is when we are most likely to feel out of balance, uncomfortable, or to get sick.
In attempts to ease your transition-pains, here are three simple tips to move into Fall.
1. Simplify and balance. Your life is an ecosystem. Every piece contributes to your health and happiness- including your physical health, emotional fitness, level of fulfillment, quality of relationships and whatever else makes up your day to day. When once piece is off, everything else suffers. Have you ever noticed that eating junky food affects your ability to focus? Or, that a fight with a friend affects your self-esteem in a work presentation? It’s all interconnected. Times of change are the best time to reevaluate what’s working and what’s not. Because change usually feels uncomfortable (even when it’s a good change!), it’s important to not add anymore stress.
Pay close attention to what makes you feel nourished and what drains you. Cut out toxic people—or at least limit your exposure to them. Cut out indulgent dramatics, like traumatizing movies or the morning news. Get extra sleep. Spend less money. Think of Fall as a time to stop, reevaluate, and tweak before the solitude and rest of Winter.
2. Drink warm lemon water every morning. Just as every piece of your life is an ecosystem, every system in your body is also heavily reliant on one another. The digestive system does much more than just break down food. It plays a large role in your immune system’s strength, your level of energy, the state of your skin, your weight, and the moods you experience day to day. Cleansed and hydrated intestines make for a happier, more energetic, healthier human. Starting your day with warm lemon water is a simple, effective way to be proactive about your digestive health!
First of all, you’re really dehydrated after an 8-10 hour sleep. Regardless of the time of year, you should start every day with water. Warm water, though, is more effective due to it’s ability to soothe tense muscles (even miniscule muscles that support blood vessels), to appease the microscopic healthy bacteria in your gut, and to cleanse intestinal debris. The addition of lemon wakes up your digestive tract, preparing it for a full day of food. The lemon also stimulates proper stomach acid production, bile production (and healthy bile means more fat-flushing), and gives a boost of powerful vitamin C.
3. BREATHE. I know, I know — you breathe all day, every day. But, most people are only utilizing the top ¼ of their lungs. Every single cell in your body, so about 37 trillion, needs oxygen to thrive. How are you going to feel your best if your cells are starving for oxygen? Improper breathing affects your sleep, digestion, mood, muscles, nervous system, brain and much more! So how can you breathe more effectively?
First, Breathe through your nose. The nose acts almost like a filter and provides the body with higher quality air than if you just gulp in air through the mouth. (If you have a stuffy nose, still keep trying to breathe with the nose — in a few days you’ll adapt!).
Next, breathe with the diaphragm. To test where your breath is going, put one hand on your chest and one hand right below the ribcage. When you take a big deep breath in, the hand below your ribcage should rise—and the hand on your upper chest should stay.
Thirdly, RELAX. Restricting your muscles will restrict the amount of delicious oxygen you can breathe in. Stop, take note—are your shoulders up, is your jaw tight, is your forehead crinkled? Take a deep breath and with the exhale, release all of your tension. (I check in and do this at least 10 times a day!).
Lastly, try to create a calm, natural rhythm. For me, 4 beats inhaling, 4 beats exhaling is a relaxed rhythm for me to fall into. Try it and find what works best for you!
TORY DUBE is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She is the founder of Tory Dube Holistic Health (formerly 'Hotchickpea', founded in NYC). Tory writes for several health publications, is a children's book author, hosts international wellness retreats, and works with clients around the world. Follow her here: www.torydube.com