September tends to bring about changes in our daily routine as things gear up a notch at work or school. This is often accompanied by an increase in stress, which needs to be managed proactively in order to ensure that we have the energy and immune strength to endure the challenges that the fall months may bring. The transition from summer to fall is an important time to re-establish healthy habits and ensure that we have supports in place to help us keep up with the many demands of daily living. Here are the Top 5 things you can do to keep yourself thriving inside and out in September:
1: Prioritize healthy sleep hygiene
- This includes going to bed and rising at the same times each day, even on the weekends. Your adrenals, immune system, hormones and mood will all thank you for it!
- If you’re getting less than at least 7 hours of sleep per night, or if you’re having difficulty falling or staying asleep, it’s crucial that this is addressed. Naturopathic doctors have a wide range of tools to help you get better Zzz’s!
2: Let food by thy medicine
- Take a look at your diet – is it mostly full of whole foods that give you strength, resilience and energy, or in contrast are you stressing your immune, digestive and endocrine systems by consuming a few too many processed foods or foods to which you are sensitive? If you need guidance on optimizing your diet and determining what your food sensitivities may be, your ND can help.
- As the weather gets cooler, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) tells us that in order to vitalize our Wei Qi (protective/immune energy) we ought to think about transitioning from an emphasis on cooling, raw foods to incorporating more foods that are warming. This means eating more things that are at least lightly cooked and warming in nature, including spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. All the more reason to enjoy pumpkin-spice everything!
Let go of what is weighing you down.
At this time of year even the trees are showing us how beautiful it can be to let go as they shed their colourful foliage! For us creatures this may look like:
- Cleaning up your mind: are there limiting or concerning thoughts or beliefs that are holding you back and draining your vitality? What’s keeping you from seeking assistance from trusted advisors to help you shift into an easier, more joyful state of being?
- Cleaning up your home, your sanctuary, your castle! Is it time to de-clutter your space by packing up a few things in a donation box? Are there toxins or irritants in your home that are affecting your wellbeing, such as mould, excess dust, or harsh cleaning products?
- Cleaning up your body: TCM shows us that changes of seasons are an ideal time to cleanse and detoxify. This helps to re-optimize the important functions of our detox organs (e.g. skin, liver, kidneys and bowels), which is vital to maintaining a strong immune system, balanced hormones and mood, and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions. Naturopathic doctors can provide individualized guidance on cleansing. This may involve dietary modifications that feel doable for you, herbs, intermittent fasting, or various methods of sweating, among other things.
Nurture closeness with others
- A feeling of closeness with others is one of the uttermost immune-boosting and stress-relieving needs that must be filled in our lives. Are you making a point of making time to foster close, meaningful relationships with your family, partner and friends? Even the odd quick little note to a loved one can go a long way. Let someone know you’re thinking of them and sending them a hug for their day. Or if youneed a hug, ask for one. Unfortunately even our dearest ones can’t always predict our feelings and needs. And if you’re lonely, take some initiative and invite a friend for a walk or a meal.
Laugh at life and at yourself!
- You don’t need to be told that this is the “best medicine.” But it’s a well-established fact that being able to find the humour in everyday ups and downs energizes and protects our vitality. When you spill a glass of water, do you swear about your “bad luck”? Or do you picture the incident in your mind and realize what slap-stick comedy gold that was, and love yourself in all your silly clumsiness? I once slipped on a wet Skytrain platform in Vancouver, causing me to slide onto the train on my knees. What an entrance I made- like the grand finale of a musical. Sure – my knees hurt, but I laughed all the way to my destination!
If you’re ready to get back on track this September, the naturopathic doctors at Sage Clinic are ready to help! Why wait to live your best life? Call today to book your appointment. Dr. Taitt offers individualized change of season cleanses to help patients boost their vitality, balance hormones, and benefit immunity and digestion.
Harvard Health Publishing (2018). How to boost your immune system.Accessed August 28, 2018. Available at <https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system>
Suttie, Emma (no date provided). Autumn / fall.Accessed August 28, 2018. Available at <https://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/nutrition/seasons/fall/>
Wang, Yuxiang (2006). A TCM change of season diet.Accessed August 28, 2018. Available at <http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/a-tcm-change-of-season-diet/>