Mourning Summer - Welcoming Fall


So I promised a post on the changing of the season. In the Northern hemisphere, particularly in NYC we have suddenly been hit with temperatures around 13C (in the 50s F) after finally getting a few of those hot and steamy over 30C (90s F) humid days in late August and early September. New Yorkers like to complain but I feel like this year we have the right to. Our winter (along with most of the Northeast) was so excruciatingly harsh and long that it filled news segments for weeks. They even coined new terms/ hashtags such as #polarvortex. From what I know polar vortexes as opposed to hurricanes, don't get named. I think they should. This winter felt like a Cruella Deville and according to some friends who have taken the time to look ahead and check the weather for Winter 2014/15, it will get worse. Maybe we should name it Voldemort.

I digress... I checked the farmer's almanac to see if we are indeed getting a worse winter:

  • Thicker than normal corn husks
  • Heavy and numerous fogs during August
  • Insects marching a bee line rather than meandering
  • The squirrel gathers nuts early to fortify against a hard winter
  • Frequent halos or rings around sun or moon forecast numerous snow falls.

I've never checked the corn husks nor the halos, I don't remember how much fog we had in August but I think there was some, insects are making a beeline for our dog food, and squirrels in NY gather a lot more than just nuts... But it sounds like Winter is coming and it won't be an easy one.

Ok, so let's face it. From here on it will only get colder, darker sooner and soon we will see Xmas decorations in stores.

For us this means, typically less energy, more food (it's harvest season), less motivation to move and generally a heavier feeling emotionally.

Fall is a reminder that we need to be flexible to stay healthy and balanced during the winter months that are coming. Putting on clothes for any outside activity takes more time and effort and so does getting to and from where we need to be. We should try to finish unfinished projects, clear away clutter and debris, set extra food and fuel aside, and make sure that we are physically and emotionally prepared for the cold, dark months to come. [Some of you will stop reading now.]

So how do we combat this general feeling of heaviness?

Emotionally: Find ways to recharge and reflect. This is you time. Whether it is for 10 minutes or 2 hours, make time for it un-apologetically and regularly. Meditation, listening to music, walking and taking in the rays of sunshine, coffee with friends etc. Practice letting go of negative emotions and instead embrace a feeling of gratitude.

Physically: Keep the momentum going. You probably had more activity happening during the summer. Use these transition months to keep at it. Any physical base that you build now, will benefit your fitness in the winter and make you feel less sluggish because you already feel fit.

At home: Organize, de-clutter, fall clean. The end of the year is when things get hectic, visitors come over, presents need to be wrapped, and there is less light and felt time in the day to do that. Do it now and enjoy your spacious beautiful and open living space. Be OCD and watch everyone else squirm come November.

In the Kitchen: do a cleanse now. Who said that you only do that in the spring? I know you've probably spent a lot of your summer drinking and eating BBQ. Embrace the full farmers markets and make healthy and hearty stews, cut out sugar and processed flours out before the holidays. Snack on nuts and seeds and prepare chai teas to keep you warm. According to Ayurveda we are entering Vata season. This article lists foods to take in during the season to balance the dosha:

Things not to do: overloading the system with cooling foods (go easier on the ice-cubes and start sipping tea instead), shocking the system with early morning exercise like you did in summer (you need time to adapt back to the later sunrise), skimping on layers ('tis the season for colds and flus), and lastly stopping your exercise outside (being outside builds a healthy immune system and getting sun now will save you money on supplementing Vitamin D).

Let me know how it goes.