Monday, September 17, 2012
If you live in the northern hemisphere, fall is right around the corner. If you live down under, spring is almost here. Spring and fall are beautiful seasons of drama and change. And they are quite challenging to the human body.
All summer our bodies fight the heat. The blood literally becomes thinner, and the metabolism does all it can to maintain a steady inner temperature by sweating, thirsting for lots of cool drinks, hungering for cooling foods like salads and melons, and such.
But when fall arrives, the body must make a hairpin turn, thicken the blood, warm the body instead of trying to cool it down. Adjusting to the new season involves a lot of internal backpedaling especially after a summer as hot as this one was in the U.S. It's exhausting work which is why fatigue is so often associated with both spring and fall.
As your body adjusts to the new season, please do what you can to help with the transition. Though you may love your summer clothing, try dressing for the weather. On crisp days, wear actual shoes, long pants, maybe even a jacket. I see people every year at this time, still in flip flops and shorts, covered with goosebumps. It's sweet how attached they are to their summer wardrobe, perhaps, but the gooseflesh is their body's way of trying to shut out the colder air. The body sends a clear message, but these people do not want to acknowledge what's going on. I find this very weird.
Dress for the weather, please? Also, try to eat simply, and eat warmer, well cooked foods (if you're headed into autumn). Soups and stews are easily digestible which will help conserve the energy your body needs to adjust to the changing environment.
Try to get enough sleep. Move around, take a walk. If you're feeling tired, put your feet up, let yourself rest, will you please? Cut yourself some slack, at least until autumn or spring has fully established itself and your body has adjusted.
We expect so much of our bodies. I'm appalled sometimes to notice how we expect full bodily cooperation even when we're unwilling to support whatever it is our bodies are trying to do. It's so unfair, not to mention unreasonable - and disrespectful.
May this season of change, fall or spring, bring to you all good things. Be gentle with yourselves. Shalom.