On the surface, I love fall. I like the cooler weather, I love scarves and layers, PSL, all that basic b**** stuff. But there’s always some anxiety that comes with the season. And I can never quite pin it down. I researched the idea of existential boredom a while back, and it fits what I’m feeling perfectly…although it didn’t suggest any ways to relieve it other than remedies related to seasonal affected disorder. So I turned from western to eastern medicine. Ayurveda, specifically. From a more actionable perspective, I read about the doshas, particularly Vata season. After reading it, I’m pretty sure that Vata season is very real in Minnesota.
I can’t claim to be an expert when it comes to doshas, but here’s what I learned from Chopra.com:
In Ayurveda the fall season corresponds to two major doshas or mind-body principles: Pitta and Vata. Autumn is considered Pitta as long as hot weather prevails, and Vata as it becomes cold. Late fall and winter are known as “Vata season” because they are marked by some of the same qualities that characterize Vata: cold, dry, light, clear, and moving.
As long as these qualities are in balance, a person whose dosha is predominantly Vata will be healthy, creative, and exuberant. But when too much Vata accumulates in the body and mind, the imbalance may manifest as physical or emotional disorders, including insomnia, dry skin, arthritis, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
As a Pitta-Kapha (find out your type here) the forthcoming Vata season is where my sense of foreboding comes in. It’s an influx of something that knocks me off-balance a little bit.
So how do we survive Vata season in Minnesota?
- Stay warm. Indulge in the coziest, warmest sweaters and scarves, boots with leg warmers, hoodies, gloves, whatever keeps you cozy.
- Rest. The sun is rising later and setting earlier, and our internal clocks need to adjust as well (don’t even get me started on Day Light Savings). As a Pitta-Kapha is a driven, go-go-go type, so listening to my body and resting is especially important to me this time of year.
- Eat foods to pacify Vata…in other words, foods that are strengthening. Warm, cooked meals like hot oatmeal, stews, casseroles, steamed veggies, and stay away from cold and raw options. I noticed that I’m downing Gin Gins lately – ginger is warming and soothing.
- Avoid dehydration. Lots of water (especially hot tea…coffee isn’t recommended, but I can’t stop). Like, so much water.
How do you combat this season?