It's dark at dinner time now! It's easy to "hooray!" for an extra hour of sleep and "hooray!" because it's easier to wake up. But it's more than just a switch of an hour.
Time change in Ayurveda affects vata (energy of movement) because, well, we've made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained extra sunlight in the morning and lost it at night. It can take some of us weeks to adjust but the 6 Ayurvedic tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature's rhythm quickly.
1. Wake up before sunrise. For those of you who are not a super-fan of this highly effective ayurvedic recommendation, your opportunity is GOLDEN right now! This should be easy! Of all times of year to start practicing, now's the time. Waking before the sun as a daily habit, gives us an extra energy boost because we rise in the energy of vata, the energy of movement, which keeps us going all day long! If we wait until the sun comes up, we rise in the energy of kapha, which is slow, heavy energy and then we feel that way. Try waking up before the sun for 2 weeks and let me know if you feel like a new person!
2. Home cooked, warm meals. As always in Ayurveda we strive to put the best foods in our bodies, always. Make sure foods are made at home with fresh ingredients including plenty of seasonal fruits like pears, apples, citrus, root vegetables, healthy grains, and some oils.
What are the best foods, you ask? If you a) can see the entire food b) know how/where it grows c) can list its ingredients, that's a great start. Eat that. Good examples: rice, sweet potato, bread, green beans, apples, fennel bulb, beets. Not good examples: tofu nuggets, protein bar, protein powder shake, orange-ish pink-ish cream sauce, meatless corn dogs, leftover Halloween candy ;)
3. Limit Salts, Sugars & Caffeine. These foods are really only fun going in. In not too long, they make us feel sluggish, cloudy minded, moody, and they mess with our digestion. They can crush our focus, amp up our emotions, and puff up our joints and/or skin, time change or not! Imagine how much harder we make it for our bodies to adjust if we hamper performance with these things.
Keep foods very simple and pure especially in lieu of the time change. Good food promotes a highly optimal mind and body so we can function at our physical and mental best.
4. Oil Massage! "Yeah yeah, Monica B. You and your oil massages." It's a seasonal recommendation as well, but this is an extremely nourishing change to make right now. Why? Because any change relates to vata and we calm vata directly through the skin. Now is a perfect time not to slack on oil massages, plus your skin will feel like a baby! Trust me.
5. Water. Drink plenty of it — not too cold, no bubbles in it, and no ice (vata-imbalancing). Especially now when summer humidity is leaving the air, we have a tendency to get more dry inside and out. If you catch yourself with sluggish or sleepy energy and it's not nearing bedtime, drink a nice big glass of water (before you reach for snacks! Food doesn't always provide energy. Many time you just need water or breath.), take a few deep breaths and you'll feel much better.
6. Normal bed time or a little early. It's only been one day since the time change, so you might still look at the clock at 9:00 p.m. and wonder why you're already tired. It's because your body is thinking it's 10:00 p.m. Know what I say? Sleep. Just get some extra sleep. Our bodies need sleep and love to sleep. Just take it. Besides, it will help your little tooshie wake up earlier in the morning and stick to that routine ;)
If you adhere to these things for 3-5 days in a row, you won't even notice the time change, I promise. Yes you'll have to work at it but life is one big work! You are an evolving being and what suited you yesterday doesn't necessarily suit you today :)