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Seasonal Self Care

self care

There’s a lot about our modern day world that has progressed us as a species. 

Medicine of course being an obvious one – including new, transformational information about the inner workings of the cannabis plant being revealed every day. 

Technology, like social media and the internet as a whole, has its pros and cons. Exploration of our planet and beyond shedding new light on our very existence. But one thing we’ve left behind is our innate connection and understanding of the natural world. 

We have become so far removed from nature, as a society, that we’ve forgotten how the ebb and flow of the seasons – and even the movements of celestial bodies – affects our entire being, just as it affects everything else around us. 

So, how do we re-establish this core relationship? And how do we incorporate this into our daily life? The answer lies in seasonal self care.

Syncing to the seasons - Traditional Chinese Medicine

Taking care of your mind and body according to the turning of the world is something that has been at the heart of many ancient medicine practices for thousands of years. 

Even today, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - a medical practice that continues to form part of the state-controlled health-care system in China - helps us maintain good health and balance by relating different parts of the physical body and mental wellbeing, as well as the food and activities we should be enjoying, to each season. 

In spring, TCM practitioners believe our liver is more susceptible to the impact of unforeseen changes – even emotional change. It is a time for growth and transformation, but when unsupported we can feel frustrated with a tightness in the body. 

Summer is thought to be the time for nurture, and laying the foundations for a healthy future – we can tap into the abundant energy in nature, but if we don’t we can begin to feel sluggish and anxious with digestive issues rising to the surface. And so on.

Here are a few seasonal tips from Christopher Handbury, TCM practitioner and author of ‘What is Qigong? A step-by-step guide to growing a successful daily practice of Qigong’:

Spring: Spring is related to wood, a time of growth and transformation. Alcohol, processed foods and heavy meats can be reduced now. Getting treatment for emotional health is good at this time.

Summer: Summer is our earth phase of the seasons, a time for building health and healing the physical body. Damp can easily reside in the body at this time bringing feelings of muzziness, heavy joints and poor digestion. Getting treatment for digestive problems is good at this time.

High Summer: This phase relates to fire and our heart. This is our last reprise, a time to express our full energy and release the excess or cultivate this additional energy for self-healing. Dryness can easily upset the balance and we have thirst, heat and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Getting treatment for physical pain is good at this time.

Autumn: In Autumn we move into the metal phase and the lungs are vulnerable. This is a time of reflection and release, realising what we have built over the year so far, where have we invested our time and energy and where to let go to prepare for the cold and stillness of winter. The lungs bring us fresh Qi for the body and mind so being mindful of efficient, relaxed and deep breathing is paramount at this time of change.

Winter: Winter months are a time for stillness, restoration and nourishment. This is our water phase and relates to the kidneys, our energy storage. Good foods that bring warmth and supply the body with the essential building blocks that repair and restore the reserves we use through the more active seasons are needed now. 

However, you don’t have to be an expert in Chinese medicine to take advantage of seasonal self care – this sort of treatment is just one option. Much of what we can gain by reconnecting with how seasons impact our body and sense of wellness is simply instinctive. You can feel it, if only you take the time to pay attention and trust yourself.

Tapping into your body clock

No matter where we live in the world, or what routine we follow, we are all governed by the same body clock – the ‘circadian rhythm’, which sparks mental, physical and behavioural changes over a 24-hour period.  These changes dictate many vital functions, including hormonal fluctuation, body temperature and digestion. 

A number of things can interfere with our natural rhythm, the most prevalent being blue light emitted from electronic devices, shift work (be that as a job, as a parent or other!) and jet lag when you cross over time zones. And because of this, many of us are suffering from a biological clock that’s just not ticking quite right. 

Here are a few pointers to get your rhythm back on track with the natural turn of the seasons, to improve your health, mental wellbeing and sleep patterns:

  • Limit screen time, particularly before bed. Try using screen-free entertainment and relaxation to unwind, like taking a hot bath with your KLORIS bath melts, reading a good book, playing cards or enjoying a board game.
  • Go camping! The more time we spend outdoors in the natural light and dark rhythms of the world, the more in tune we become. Spending plenty of time outdoors, particularly at the beginning and end of the day, can spark a full system reboot.
  • Support your body with nourishing and timely meals. Limit your meals to an 8-hour window during the day when you are most active, avoid refined sugar, carbs and caffeine and support your whole system with KLORIS CBD Oil Drops!