There used to be blurred lines between the stress created during the holidays and the rest of the year, but nowadays, it seems like the whole year is blurred into one mass of chaos (technology is a blessing and a curse Emm-I-RIGHT? Please put down your mobile at 3:15am, you do NOT need to respond to Glenda in H.R. about updating your emergency contacts).
One distinguishing factor, however, during the end of October through January is not really the addition of travel, buying ALL the things marketing tells us we need, or really even sharing all the germs.
Soooo what is it then?
It's the elements of AIR and ETHER swooping in and wreaking havoc on our digestive systems and our minds.
Unfortunately we tend to ignore the symptoms bubbling up in digestion (gas, bloating, occasional alternating diarrhea and/or constipation, dry skin, up at 2:00am wondering if Glenda has fallen down the stairs and broken her leg because she hasn't emailed you like she did last night, etc). It's not just 'tis the season', but the fact that these elements prevail during the fall season.
Take cues from nature; colder weather, dryer air, plants drying out and withering away to make fabulous leaf piles and/or standing in the middle of your yard like a MANIAC with a glorified blow dryer to get the leaves off the grass before it kills it, even though you don't care about your yard looking like a dried out vacant lot but the neighbors and city inspectors sure DO....GASP! Get what I'm hinting at? Does my tone seem irrational, rambling, and scattered?
But then you write in your gratitude journal and realize, things aren't that bad, have the BEST DAY EVER, and think what in the world is going on?
AIR and ETHER folks.
So how do we balance what's going on in nature, take care of our digestion to avoid the aforementioned symptoms, and feel balanced and grounded through the holidays?
ROUTINE: This is one of the greatest tips to offer balancing too much air and ether. When we feel scattered, it leads to the mind swirling, and symptoms setting in.
Wake up at the same time, and go to bed at the same time. Even go as far as having a routine before you start your day (brush teeth, set intention, wash face etc), and before bed (write down 5 things that went well for the day, breathwork/pranayama, warm shower/bath etc).
WARM, HEAVY, OILY:
Eat warm foods and drinks which helps maintain your digestive fire.
Heavy does not mean unhealthy, but this quality adds the earth element to balance air and ether. Heavier blankets, heavier, cozier clothes, heavy foods as in adding oils or ghee more to your diet.
Oil up your skin. Find a body grade oil such as sesame oil for the body, and a lighter oil for the face if it tends towards greasy, such as rosehips oil. Rubbing the body in oil before a warm shower at night is a great way to add routine before sleep.
AVOID ENERGY VAMPIRES:
Exhausted, bored, irritated, stressed, anxious, threatened, overwhelmed or depressed after just a few moments in a certain person’s company? A person that you know that misses the mark on empathy and other's perspectives? Childish?
Ask yourself in regards to said person:
What is your motivation for staying connected?
Is this person compromising your ethics, morals, and values against your will?
If you can't disconnect from said person look into a daily self-reflective practice (walking, meditation, yoga, cooking, cycling for at least 40-60 minutes), that will increase your emotional capacity, as will the previously mentioned tips!
HERBS AND SPICES:
Ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin are wonderful herbs to help boost digestion. Stay away from spicy hot foods that can increase with air and ether.
Here is one of my favorite seasonal bites that I truly hope you might try and share with your friends/family/coworkers that is great for peaceful digestion but packs in the nutrients to boost adrenal health to help get you through the season.
Ginger Molasses Oat and Flax Squares
Prepare 10 Medjool dates (soaked in water for ~1 hr, drained, but reserve the liquid)
Grease an 8x8ich square baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375 F
-¼ cup Flax seeds + 1 ½ cups rolled oats that have been pulsed into a flour.
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (My favorite brand is NatureAde-can order on Amazon)
-1 cup raisins or currants
1) ADD ALL ABOVE INGREDIENTS TO A LARGE MIXING BOWL.
Ingredients continued added to a processor/Nutribullet:
-10 Medjool date (soaked in water for ~1 hr, drained, but reserve the liquid)
-½ cup molasses
-¼ cup coconut palm sugar (can be ordered on Amazon)
-¼ cup oil of choice or melted ghee
-1 tsp vanilla extract
2) Process until these ingredients are thick and creamy. Add the reserved date liquid as needed.
3) Fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined, and add to greased square baking dish.
4) Bake 15-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of pan.