How do we take care of mind and body in this dynamic season? This time of year mind and body can be vulnerable to vata derangement. The energies of our environment can’t help but influence our health and well-being. The holidays increase activity, responsibility, and stress. Meanwhile daylight diminishes, the cold wind blows and even colder days approach. All of this adds up, taking a toll on the nervous system and unsettling the mind. Inspiration fizzles. Fatigue, depletion and anxiety ensue.
What to do? Here are three key ways to ground, soothe and replenish ourselves.
Regularity and Stability
Forgo the love of spontaneity for a regular routine! Eat, sleep, exercise and work at regular and predictable times. Experiment with creating additional time and space between tasks and activities to avoid rushing and feeling overwhelmed. Simplify when possible. Your mind and body will relax into the flow and thank you.
Plan to get as much rest and sleep as your responsibilities will allow. I’m a big fan of the restorative power of “nap therapy. ” A short pause in the day, even if you don’t fall into sleep, can do wonders! Resting in shavasana for 5-10 minutes anytime during your day can replenish your nervous system and restore your senses.
Warm Oil Massage
This is the most balancing medicine for vata disturbance. Massage your body with vata-soothing sesame oil and then step into a steaming shower or bath. Once you try it, you won’t want to do with out daily oil massage! Wind, cold and stress dries us up. Dryness speeds the aging process and leaves our skin, gut and nervous system vulnerable to imbalance.
Oil + touch + warm water = deeply nurturing.
Try integrating one or more of these tips and see what you notice. Taking care of our mind deeply nurtures the body; caring for our body greatly restores the mind. When we feel grounded, stable and rested, our inspiration returns, ideas flourish again and we can move forward on creative projects and enjoy the simple blessings in our lives.
Gina Mastroluca Portland, Maine