In celebration of my upcoming book, Selfcarefully, I’m sharing five of my favorite sections throughout December. (Read more about how I wrote this book on metro rides and with lots of support here.)
This self-care essay explores how to take care of ourselves during the transitional moments between seasons. Growing up, I was never taught how to transition gracefully through the seasons. Learning Ayurveda has helped me to stay balanced enough in my health to actually enjoy these changes. I’m so excited to share this self-care knowledge with you!
If this message of nature-led self-care resonates with you, please preorder your copy of Selfcarefully by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.
Thanks for reading and I’ll look forward to sharing the next section soon!
Self-care and The Change of Seasons
As our earth rotates around the sun, nature shifts through the seasons. Depending on where you live, these seasonal fluctuations may be subtle, or they may be dramatic. Through Ayurveda, I’ve learned the importance of modifying my self-care with the change in seasons. The easiest way to do this is to eat what is most readily available at the moment. Living on the East Coast, this usually means grounding root vegetables in the fall, or cleansing green leaves during the spring. When the days are shorter, I take more baths, light candles, and go to sleep earlier. As the days grow longer, I wander more often in nature, delve into creative projects, and stay out later.
I’ve also learned that the transitions between seasons are important moments for increased self-care. (Aren’t transitions always so vulnerable?) During these times, I like to do a gentle cleanse by eating a simple diet for a little while. Ayurvedic doctors often recommend an exclusive diet of kitchari, a rice and mung dal mixture that has been cooked down to an easily-digestible porridge. During a cleanse, I do more self-massage and give myself extra downtime. (These are the practices I have access to that work well for me. They might look very different for others.)
In our one-size-fits-all culture, it can be hard to shift our daily practices with the seasons. We live during a time when strawberries are available year-round from grocery stores and heating and air-conditioning help us escape the elements. Most of us don’t really have to go through the cycles of the year in the same way as generations past.
This is yet another instance of self-care feeling counter-cultural. Going against the cultural flow and aligning with natural cycles takes energy in the beginning—energy to pay attention to my body; energy to establish a new rhythm; energy to feel my feelings that come with the change. Once I make the transition, I find that shifting my self-care with the seasons always gives back more energy than it takes.