Has anyone else noticed a big shift in energy this fall? We had such a ‘summery’ summer and have been blessed with lots of beautiful autumn days but as each day darkens a little earlier there comes with it a sleepiness or lethargy. I have felt it and hear about it from many of you.
With the cooler temperatures and less natural light, our bodies naturally slow down. In Chinese medicine, summer’s hot climate is referred to as the “Yang” time of year, while winter is the
“Yin” time of year: a time of year to slow down, go inward and deeply rest – kind of like hibernation for humans. As we transition though autumn, less daylight triggers the brain to increase the hormone melatonin, which is related to sleeping. And while it feels right to honour the seasonal change and cozy up a bit, sometimes I feel the need to boost energy through these months.
One of the best things for me is to seek light and outdoor exercise. I try as often as possible to get outside on sunny days and soak up the light while walking or hiking. If hiking doesn’t appeal to you, just being outside doing whatever interests you will boost your energy, mood and Vitamin D. With inclement weather and less sun though, it can become more challenging to find these moments outside. For those of us who are more sensitive to the lack of natural light, mood can flatten out and darken too. There is some solid research now to support the use of Light Therapy to reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a bright, desktop light which mimics natural daylight and with regular daily use for about 30 minutes early in the day can really boost energy and mood. Recent scientific studies have shown that the effect of light therapy was significantly more effective than antidepressant medications alone for lifting mood (a slightly more effective regimen was a combination of light therapy and antidepressant medication).
Another challenge in the cooler weather is to stay hydrated. When it’s hot we naturally reach for liquids to quench our thirst (sometimes the TGIF variety lol). It gets harder to make sure we are taking in enough fluids when the weather turns colder. I struggle with this too. My body responds by tightening up and I feel aches and pains much more. Some of the things I’ve been trying are to drink more water early in the day, before going to work. I try to add lemon or apple cider vinegar to warm water for one cup at least. Also, as I mentioned in my last blog, I tend to make broth a lot in the fall and winter so that most days I am having some sort of soup for lunch. It is surprising how warming and filling it is to have a cupful of broth with a snack instead of tea or coffee.
I found this wonderful article that outlines a bunch more ways to boost your energy in the fall. Check it out if you are interested. arizonapain.com (11 Ways To Boost Energy During Fall and Winter)
Wishing you all a bright, amazing day!