It is that time of the year when the days get shorter and the nights longer. This year, September 22nd marks the Fall Equinox; the time in the Northern Hemisphere when summer comes to an end and autumn begins. The word Equinox is derived from the Latin word “equal night”, where the night and days are roughly 12 hours each. The Fall Equinox marks a new beginning, an opportunity to start fresh.
Summer is notorious for increased consumption of sugary foods and drinks, a lack of quality sleep and a disappearance of our daily and weekly routines. Although we blame summer for this disruption in our life, it requires us to recognize where we need to re-establish structure and routine.
How can we re-create routine while reducing the stress and anxiety that accompany change?
Start slow and gradual.
Slow and steady wins the race. As with any change in life, it takes time to adapt. Recognize and accept that re-creating routine may take up to a few weeks until you feel adjusted. Deliberately taking the time to slow down in the mornings can reduce your daily stress. It will prevent you from getting stuck in worries or thoughts about what may happen that day. It is not too early to ease your way into routine. The sooner you start, the smoother the transition into September will be.
Support your body with an Adaptogen.
Herbal medicine is one of the powerful modalities that naturopathic medicine has to offer. It provides naturopathic doctors with the opportunity to create an herbal formula that is personalized to an individual’s current state. Adaptogens are herbs that support the body in its ability to adapt to stress. When we introduce change in our life, we often introduce anxiety and stress as well. Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that acts primarily as an adaptogen to help mitigate the harmful effects of stress. In conjunction with lifestyle modifications, Ashwagandha can ease the stress by lowering cortisol in those who feel overexcited, nervous and have troubles with sleep.
Note: Ashwagandha is generally considered a safe herb; however consult your naturopathic doctor prior to initiating if you have any health concerns.
Get the proper Sleep that you need.
Optimal sleep is one of the foundations of health that allow us to thrive. It allows our brain to recharge and our bodies to rest. We often sacrifice sleep during the summer months as a result of soaking up the long summer days. Why is it that we create structured bedtime routines for children? As with adults, it fosters healthy sleeping patterns to ensure one gets the sleep that they need to function optimally. Humans are naturally designed to repeat daily patterns. Therefore creating patterns at the beginning and end of your day help you feel better and reduce stress in your life.
Track your habits to understand yourself better. When you know where your life needs more structure, implement it. Give yourself credit for welcoming the new season and I encourage you to start your September with ease, energy and a clear mind.