When we think of Fall usually we think about shedding, and letting go of things we no longer need. (Or we’re going crazy thinking about all the things we need to get done before the holidays.) But another way to look at autumn is that it’s a time for change.
Last week we touched on the ways Ayurveda sees the season of Fall, and all of the ways it signals change. If you glazed over it, had no idea what we were talking about, or didn’t read it at all, that’s OK too. This week we’re talking in normal everyday English about how you feel during the Fall, and how to stay mentally grounded. Whether you subscribe to the craziness that comes this time of year, or just go about your year trying to survive, here are a few ways to help you keep grounded and in control.
If you love lists, this is a no brainer. If you resist the list, give it a try. Having a list gives you a visual gauge of what your “to-do” load looks like. Lists can help you narrow down the important items to do first, what can be left for later, and maybe a few items that can be scrapped or delegated.
Generally, if you love lists you love a schedule too. It doesn’t mean planning out your day to the minute (if you’re one of those, be a rebel and plan something in a window of time). It means making sure you don’t double book, ensuring you eat all of your meals, and it allows you to plan-in some downtime – or better yet – couple’s time.
There is a plethora of studies that show mindful breathing can help reduce anxiety, improve mental focus, lessen symptoms of depression, and lower blood pressure and heart rates. Sit down someplace comfortable, close your eyes, and place your hands on your abdomen. Take a deep (yet easeful) breath in and focus on the belly moving into your hands. As you breathe out notice your belly contract back inward. If you have an iWatch from Apple use the breathing app/reminder once per day, or if you’re a scheduler, schedule it into your day. Another option is to do Nadi Shodhana, otherwise known as Alternate Nostril Breathing. Co-Founder Michelle shows us how to do it here.
Who doesn’t love a good foot massage!? I’m sure there are a few of you out there that don’t and that’s OK too. Touching the feet, even the connection of fabric to the feet via socks, can give us a sense of calm. Do a self foot-massage, ask your partner to do it, or get a pedicure.
You think this would go without saying, but stay warm. If we’re cold, we put our body into a sympathetic state. Our body starts to wonder: Are we safe? Do we have a warm place to stay? Will we be able to find food now that the weather is cooler? Will we have the resources to support a baby!? It’s fine to enjoy the cooler weather but make sure you spend some time nice and warm.
“Tis’ the season of giving!” People give money and time to various causes, but we can only give what we possess. Financially this is more apparent, we know how much money we have in our bank account. But with time we fill up our schedules and forget to schedule in some me-time. We’ve talked about why self-care is important and three ways to practice it while on your infertility journey.
Now this year may feel a little different. With all of the social distancing, you may be thinking that you’ll be able to avoid the dozen holiday parties this year – keeping your schedule to a minimum. Let’s be real – for some of you, there will be a creative replacement. Maybe this year it’s Zoom Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family, or worse – 20 individual Zoom sessions with your family and all of your friends followed by your partner’s. Either way try out the tips above to help you stay grounded, on track, and feeling sane through this fall and holiday season.