September has begun, and that means fall is just around the corner.
And for so many of us…
…shorter days and longer nights means a dip in our mood.
Fortunately, there are lots of great things to do to get prepared as the seasons change.
Of course there are things like pulling out your sweaters and boots and knitting a scarf or two and planting a winter garden and getting the fireplace cleaned.
But I want to share with you today my annual fall post — a collection of 10 personal things that I do to prepare my body now for a smooth transition this fall.
Fall Health Checklist:
1. Increase your fish oil.
It’s just such an important whole-body nutrient that comes even more into play during the colder months.
Winter means everything from a permanent brain fog to dry tight skin.
Fish oil support brain function, digestion, circulation and skin… all things that we need help with in the winter.
Although I absolutely recommend fish oil every single day of the year, starting to take it in the fall (or if you currently take it, upping your dose) will help prep your skin for the dry air to come, your brain for the dark days to come, your circulation for the colder winds to come, and your digestion for the heavier, thicker, richer foods to come.
Here is my fav fish oil supplement.
2. 5 HTP.
A precursor to serotonin (the positive, mood enhancing neurotransmitter that most antidepressants are targeting, in the hopes to elevate brain levels) 5HTP is a nutritional supplement that makes sure your body is getting the building blocks it needs to make serotonin as efficiently as possible.
If you get a mild case of winter blues, you likely don’t need to take prescription medications for that.
Instead, you can make sure that your body is getting all it needs nutritionally in order to make its own, healthy levels of serotonin.
One way to ensure this is to take the nutritional supplement 5 HTP… if you feed your body what it needs (most of us don’t get enough of this precursor as it is) then you have the best chance to naturally create the serotonin you’ll need to keep your spirits up as the light fades.
This is the 5 HTP I trust…
3. Consider Melatonin an hour before bedtime.
Just as serotonin can dip in the winter, adding to the winter blues… your melatonin levels can dip too, wreaking havoc on your nightly rhythm.
Even though the darkness makes you feel more tired and ready to turn in earlier, you may find sleep elusive just when you crave it most.
This is because melatonin is actually made from serotonin… so folks who are low serotonin are generally low melatonin.
While 5 HTP may help reset melatonin levels naturally, another approach is to take melatonin directly one hour before bedtime.
Taking melatonin in the fall when the days grow shorter will help your body re-set to its natural rhythm once winter peaks.
Also, sipping on Natural Vitality’s Calm Magnesium drink (one scoop into a cup of warm water) before bedtime will help relax your body and creates a lovely evening ritual all winter long… and all year long. This is one of my favorite recommendations for anyone with difficulty relaxing do to muscle tension or soreness, such as issues with tension headaches, fibromyalgia, grinding teeth at night, TMJ, etc…
Sleeping well at night is a natural and easy way to feel brighter during the day, beating those winter blues.
4. Ashwagandha to combat stress.
For many of us, the transitions of fall can cause fatigue and stress on our body.
Ashwagandha is an all natural adaptogen, an ancient remedy highly prized in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ashwagandha’s benefits are boasted far and wide for combating fatigue, reducing stress on our body (many practitioners believe it slows aging and promotes a longer life span!) strengthens the immune system (perfect for the cold and flu season) and promotes restful sleep.
I really love this organic Ashwagandha supplement…
Getting outside in even the cloudy grey days of fall and winter for a mid-day walk is better than staying inside even under the brightest artificial lights.
Even if the sun appears not to shine, your pineal gland senses the light in the environment and needs this pick-me-up to function best this fall and winter.
Make a commitment to get morning or mid-day light (sunshine if possible!) every single day.
Slip off your shoes for a few minutes, or, if it’s too cold, just use your fingers to hold onto a tree that is grounded in the earth.
The time spent grounding to the earth will refresh your body and soul.
This one simple and free habit is probably the single best thing
you can start right now to smooth your fall transition.
6. And along with morning exposure to sunlight,
supplement with Vitamin D.
Yes, you will get some Vit D when you go outside each day… but as most of us are deficient in Vit D during the summer… nearly ALL of us fall deficient in the winter.
Not only is Vit D a powerful antioxidant, it prevents cancer, stroke, heart disease, boosts weight loss… you name it… we need it.
7. Drink twice as much water as ever before.
Hopefully you’ve kept yourself well hydrated during the summer, when hot temperatures and sweating drive us to remember to drink water more than at any other time of the year.
But in the cooler temps, ones in which you are shivering, not sweating… it’s more important than ever before to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Dry heated air, dry cold outside air, wind chapping our lips, and no internal drive to remind us to drink leads to mid-winter dehydration, brain fog, and a sure-fire road to BLAH.
You can get so dehydrated that you actually feel semi-nauseous all the time.
Drink water and then drink some more… and start right now.
I take the time to filter out the fluoride in my water… here is a blog post I wrote explaining how and why I drink non-fluoridated water.
The two things I get most excited about every spring and fall is:
1. watching the world transform (colorful leaves in the fall and blossoming trees in the spring)
2. doing a 1 week detox.
That’s because I KNOW that one week every spring and fall completely transforms my energy level.
And if you are only going to do it once a year, fall is the absolutely perfect time to encourage a gentle cleansing from your body, allowing the unnecessary to fall away and reveal a fresh start as we change seasons.
Unfortunately it’s too late to join in on my (sold out) live Detox Bootcamp, which starts this Monday…
…but you can still do your own detox this month right alongside my class by reading my uplifting, positive Gentle Reset Detox Guide…
…available for you right here!
9. Make homemade (Un)Petroleum Jelly.
If you like the barrier protection of petroleum jelly but, like me, you don’t want petroleum by-products anywhere near your body… make your own!
Yesterday, my daughter and I followed this recipe and really liked how it turned out… I’ll be keeping a jar by my bedside for my fall and winter cracked heels.
If you don’t want to make yours from scratch, give Earth’s Best Non-Petroleum Jelly a try on any super dry trouble spots!
10. Make firestarters.
All fall I collect my dry lint and tons of items I typically would toss in the recycling bin (like cardboard egg cartons) and turn those free items into mega-awesome FREE firestarters.
I walk you through it in my Eco Friendly Firestarter Tutorial here!
You’ll use these all winter long and be so glad you took the time in fall to prepare a stash for yourself.
Enjoy this cooler weather and shortening days, my friends.
I’ll be here for you all the way through it!