To many of us, changing seasons are synonymous with falling sick, be it cold, headaches, flu or viral fever. This is almost assumed to be a norm as the changing season itself. But should we really consider this a norm? Other animals in nature don’t fall sick as seasons change. Then why us?
When the season is changing from say, summer to the monsoon, our body is trying to adjust/cope with changes in the atmosphere. This is the body’s nature or intuitive wisdom, very much a part of our DNA. To do this, it borrows energy from within that would otherwise be used for our normal functioning such as digestion, repair work and elimination. This has a subtle effect on our digestion and immune system, both of which go low.
At such a point, we need to help the body by making appropriate changes in diet /lifestyle, else we run the risk of falling sick.
What are some of these changes we can look at making ?
1. Slow down, make the time to relax and rest as your body demands. Deep breathing a few times a day, pranayama, and if possible sleep more. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel more sleepy than usual at seasonal cusps. This is our body’s wisdom showing us the way, and if we just listen, we can sail through. In any case if we fall sick, we are forced to pull the brakes, so is it not better to slow down before that, and prevent from falling sick? If we just listen to the body, we’ll realise its not asking for much. A 20 minute power nap, or just a half an hour extra in the night will in fact work wonders.
2. Eat light. This basically translates to eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, especially seasonal ones. These take up less energy to digest, and energise the body to be able to adapt to change. If you are vary of eating raw during this season, your vegetables could be steamed or lightly cooked, made into broths and nourishing soups as well! No matter which form you choose to have them, they will benefit your immune system.
3. Cleanse the system. Our body uses the maximum energy to digest food, and if we give it a break from that by fasting, we can actually free up that energy for many other useful functions.
One can look at intermittent fasting or a day long dry/water fasting, ending the day with a light meal.
4. Consume anti bacterial foods. Some really common anti bacterials that already exist in our diet are ginger, turmeric, onion and garlic. Add these in generous quantities. A great immunity booster shot that you can have each morning is drinking a shot of Ginger -Turmeric Tea. Boil turmeric powder and fresh ginger in water, add jaggery syrup to it and your shot is ready.
5. Be active. I know this might sound contrary to point one, but it is not. Let me explain. Physical activity is a need of the human body. It improves circulations, helps build immunity, balances our hormones and benefits in too many ways which we cannot even fathom. We can slow down (in terms of the number of activities or how much we are packing it in through the day, maybe end our day earlier) but still be active by moving around during the day, and continuing whatever fitness regimen we are following.
That said, nourishment takes place over a period of time and immunity cannot be built overnight. This is an exercise that needs to take place throughout the year, along with changes in lifestyle that are more in rhythm with nature. Living this way, you will find that season change affects you lesser and lesser.
I’d love to hear how you are coping with season change and what you do to boost your immunity. Write in to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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