Prevention Tips for a Smooth Transition into Fall

Simple techniques of self-care during the fall transition can enable good health and prevent illness. Especially as many of us in the Northwest were exposed to extended fire-smoke during the end of the summer, taking care of ourselves, especially our Lungs, can support us during the seasonal transition to prevent health challenges. Following these simple guidelines can assist the body and mind to transition with the environment with ease:

Heeding our inner voice of reason, which often first presents as a subtle fleeting instinct easy to disregard. How often do we have an instinct to either go to bed early, put on an extra layer when we go outside, grab a scarf in case of wind, or pause in a situation before reacting, but not honor it? Often, we know what we need in a given situation, but we overlook it due to doubt or a hurried state. It's best not to push ourselves and to heed to our inner voice which can be subtly more pronounced during the Fall Season as our sensitivity rises to its full potential. We can take advantage of this by listening within, especially to the messages of self-care.

Being gentle with ourselves, as the Autumn Season can generate more feelings of impatience, irritation, and frustration. As my teacher Dr. Tran often suggests: let it roll off your back "like water off a duck's head." This advice becomes more important during the months of fall, as anger and frustration can be more easily experienced. Keeping things in perspective and maintaining a healthy perspective allows for optimal health and creative potential.

Adjusting our diet to the seasonal change is always helpful. Eating according to the season and our environment assists our body with adjusting through the transition, perpetuating harmony with the internal (ourselves) and the external (our environment). The cooler months of fall invite less salads and raw foods, welcoming more cooked warm foods such as soups, stews, and root vegetables like squash. Apples and pears enter in season, with pears supporting the health of our lungs and large intestines, which are in their maximum energy during the Fall Season. Consuming nourishment from nature illustrates the inseparable connection we have with our outside world via our digestive system, which transforms food to sustain our physical and energetic being.

Getting adequate sleep as the days continue to shorten contributes to health and rejuvenation, supporting the immune system. The long days of summer, particularly in the Northwest, can influence a later bed time as our daily activities easily extend into the evening. As the sun goes down earlier, reminding ourselves to go to bed early to get a solid eight hours of quality sleep each night is often the best medicine to prevent a common cold, flu or illness and to facilitate a smooth seasonal transition.

Appropriately protecting ourselves physically on the outside from the environmental temperatures of cold, wet, and wind will always support our health, preventing the penetration of the external influences during the seasonal transition. Wearing adequate clothing to protect from environmental influences is especially recommended. It's notably important to keep the feet warm with shoes, socks, and slippers, and to adequately protect the neck with scarves, so as to prevent the internal penetration of cold and damp via the wind.

In Summary

  • Listen to the inner voice of reason regarding self-care, heeding to your natural limitations.
  • Be gentle with yourself, softening expectations, demands, and self-criticism, while not letting others challenge your emotional equilibrium as well, to prevent the easily adopted emotions of irritability, frustration, and anger.
  • Eat according to the season: warm cooked foods, such as root vegetables like squash, and fruits such as apples and pears, avoiding cold raw foods, all to support the digestive system's optimal health and functioning.
  • Adopt earlier bedtimes to encourage a solid eight hours of restful restorative sleep.
  • Dress according to the weather, wearing a scarf to protect from the wind that carries the cold and damp, and keeping your feet warm to support the healthy circulation of blood and energy to the extremities.
  • Schedule your seasonal acupuncture appointment to assist with the above and prevent illness.

In Good Health during the upcoming Fall Season,