As we transition into the new season we can definitely feel a shift in energy as the symbolic falling of leaves seems to mirror our shedding of the light uplifting summer energy and move towards an earthier, slower way of life. Indeed as the layers of clothing are adding back on, we begin to internalise a little more and a period of reflection ensues.
Self-care is most important at all times of the year, but especially at this time of returning to routine, the carefree vibes of summer drifting behind, we focus on doing, working, organising, planning and caring for others. Spending time on nurturing yourself is one of the most precious ways to replenish energy, in order to refill the cup from which we constantly give.
Ayurveda (the ancient Indian tradition of wellbeing and natural medicine) follows the wisdom of the natural world, flowing alongside the changes in season, weather and time, finding ways to blend and adapt our daily lives.
Here, we look at three self-care rituals to help you feel nurtured and well through Autumn and Winter:
1. Deeply relaxing foot soak
Those feet were made for walking, but sometime we can really neglect them, especially considering how hard they work for us! Not only do reflexologists, podiatrists, chiropodists and physiotherapists understand the upmost importance of looking after your feet, classical Ayurvedic texts even mention them! In the texts, feet are shown to have nerves connected to the eyes, so the belief is that incredibly by soaking and massaging the feet, you can actually alleviate eye strain!
A truly lovely way to relax and really soothe your tired feet, try this Aveda foot soak recipe this season to lift your spirits.
How to make a deeply relaxing autumnal foot soak
- Fill a large bowl with warm water and have a towel ready nearby
- Add a tablespoon of Aveda Beautifying Composition Oil containing a nourishing blend of certified organic olive and safflower oils
- Add 2-5 drops of Aveda Bergamot Essential Oil for a sweetly citrus aroma of the bergamot fruit
- You can also add a few flower petals if you have them – Rose and lavender work well
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably somewhere you can relax whilst your feet are submerged, then begin to slow down and deepen your breath, listening to every round and it enters and leaves your body.. lightly close your eyes. Try to visualise something relaxing to you, such as being in a meadow, on a mountainside or laying quietly on a beach.
- After 5-10 minutes of relaxation and soaking, bring your feet out and gently pat them dry
- Apply Aveda Foot Relief to full revitalise and nourish the feet by massaging into all areas of each foot
2. Eat nourishing warming Autumn foods
During Autumn, there are plenty of really gorgeous root vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips around for the taking and these can be turned into beautifully warming, nourishing soups, casseroles and stews. In particular, you can add warming spices like turmeric, chillies, ginger and nutmeg.
These kinds of foods are not only warming, but filling and wholesome, so feed the soul and yourself and fill up. For the record, it is absolutely normal to feel more hungry as the colder weather sets in and Ayurveda teaches us to enjoy the bounty of goodness that the natural world seasonally provides us.
3. Skin brushing
A wonderfully cleansing way to revitalise the body, stimulating lymph function and increase circulation, skin brushing helps shed some 50 million dead skin cells every day. Regularly brushing the skin all over the body also helps to distribute fatty deposits beneath the skin reducing the appearance of cellulite. The movement of the fatty deposits also assists in removing toxins in the deeper connective tissues.
How to skin brush
Choose a long handled, wide paddle brush with bristles made from natural materials that are firm but not stiff. Brush your entire body, starting at the feet and working upwards, but always stroking towards the heart to aid circulation and lymphatic system. Remember to include your back body! Daily skin brushing is most effective but try to avoid late at night as it can be stimulating rather than relaxing!
Alternatively, come and visit us in the Mary Ann Weeks Aveda luxury spa on Guildford high street or Walton ‘The Heart’ shopping centre – our trained beauty therapists know exactly how to get you to completely relax with a number of excellent self care options, from a range of massages including deep tissue, hot stone fusion and chakra balancing, to luxury pedicures and replenishing facials. We guarantee you will leave feeling utterly renewed and relaxed. For more details visit our spa online.