Winter has started and the usual symptoms are already appearing?
You may often feel tired, fatigued, somewhat apathetic… We have some tips about how to overcome the cold, dark season with energy and optimism with the help of Ayurveda.
Ancient Indian health teachings state that we need different measures to stay healthy during the changing seasons. From an Ayurvedic point of view, the earth-water element (kapha-dosha) dominates nature in winter. Especially when the days are characterised by cold and humidity. Typical Kapha symptoms are colds, lassitude and feelings of oppression and stagnation. In extreme cold, wind and dryness, the air element (vata dosha) will also appear elevated, associated with nervousness, restlessness and mood swings. So, regardless of personal constitution, it is important to balance the increased kapha and vata during this time by taking appropriate measures.
THE SOLUTION: WARMTH IN ANY WAY
Warm meals, warm drinks and warm oil applications bring body and mind back into balance.
An abhyanga massage with warm herbal oil is particularly beneficial now. It nourishes the skin, stimulates the immune system and gets the energy flow going in the body channels. Those who enjoy an Ayurvedic full body massage regularly feel more stable, joyful and vital throughout the winter.
The perfect therapy against the seasonal low mood (also called winter blues) is shirodhara, one of the most popular and at the same time most effective Ayurvedic treatments. The warm oil pour on the forehead has a balancing effect on the autonomic nervous system, relieves stress, anxiety, irritability and fatigue and gives a feeling of deep security.
Tip!If you don't have the opportunity to take time out for wellness, you can also treat yourself to something good at home. Just try it out: gently massage the body, face and head area with an Ayurvedic oil preheated in a water bath. Let the oil soak into the skin for 15 minutes before taking a warm shower or bath.
MORE POWER THROUGH THE RIGHT DIET
Of course, nutrition also affects our emotional well-being. The good news: in winter, our digestive fire is particularly active. As the body adapts to external conditions, it starts to produce more heat internally. That is why in the cold season, we are also able to burn hearty foods and sweets better. However, foods should not be so heavy that they cause excessive digestive effort and the resulting increase in kapha. Simple, warming foods are therefore recommended: stews, soups and seasonal vegetables, preferably steamed. Also recommended are nuts, seeds, quality vegetable oils and all spices that can help stimulate the metabolism: pepper, chilli, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. But the spice of excellence for the winter season is ginger. A ginger herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little honey keeps pathogens at bay and lifts the mood.
Tip! Red wine is a child of the sun. The polyphenols it contains protect cells and strengthen the immune system. So do not hesitate to treat yourself to a good glass of red wine every now and then in the evening.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES TO BEAT WINTER BLUES
As temperatures (and moods) drop, many tend to retreat to the four walls of their homes and curl up on the sofa. However, it is worth bearing in mind that typical seasonal symptoms are often related to a lack of daylight and physical activity.
Tip! Take time for a walk of about 40 minutes in the middle of the day, if possible every day. The sunlight, which is able to filter through the clouds, promotes the production of vitamin D and serotonin. Movement in the fresh air frees the body from heaviness and releases happiness hormones!
By following these tips, you will begin to recharge your body, feel full of momentum and ready to fully enjoy the charms of winter.
Dr. Narenda Babu
Ayurvedic doctor at ADLER Spa Resort THERMAE