Seasonal change can affect everyone differently. General rule of thumb tend to be that there are a few stuffy noses, lower energy and weight gain. These are usually a result of all the Halloween candy and the lead up to the best time of year, Christmas! Thankfully there are many easy changes one can introduce into their lifestyle and diet in order to maintain optimal health during the Autumn and Winter months.
The Yin & Yang Effect
According to traditional Chinese medicine adapting your diet to the seasons could be the best way to ensure mental and physical health through seasonal changes. Chinese medicine suggests that our body consists of an energy called Qi. Qi when translated into English means vital energy. Our Qi consists of two parts, which are Yin & Yang. Balance is required in order to keep the body healthy. Changes in seasons is considered to sometimes shift this balance. As a result one becomes more dominant than the other. We can then experience lack of energy, lowered immunity, mood swings and unhealthy cravings.
Transitioning from warm to cooler weather, it makes sense that our bodies start to require warmer foods to handle the environmental changes. Have you ever noticed if you eat cold foods in the colder months of the year you feel cold from the inside? This is because the Yin has become more dominant leaving you feeling colder and out of balance. This might make you more susceptible to catching a cold as your immune system may not be operating at its optimum level. As we transition from summer to autumn the key is to strengthen your body by eating Yang type foods.
Yin, Yang & SAD
In traditional Chinese medicine the start of the Yin cycle begins in autumn when the amount of daylight gradually decreases. During this time of year however people may suffer from SAD -seasonal affective disorder. It can affect everyone differently and at different magnitudes. Usually the effects last from the beginning of Autumn until the start of Spring. It is thought the lack of exposure to light during winter could be related to SAD. It is natural to feel more lethargic and emotionally and physically sensitive to our surroundings at this time of year. So be gentle with yourself and take part in self care.
By cooperating with and listening to your body’s needs you balance the Yin and Yang. Aligning your body to Nature’s flow can help you stay healthy and balanced during seasonal transitions.