To bring balance into your life during the springtime (and any other time of the year when you’re feeling sluggish and unmotivated, maybe even depressed), use the thousands-year-old principles of Ayurveda to uplift and energize you. Super simply put, Ayurveda works in opposites. Meaning if you’re in a shlump, the way to un-shlump is through movement, heat, and bringing some spice into your life.
Let’s start with the obvious, physical movement. Likely the last thing you want to do when you’re cozy in bed or feeling blue is to get up and get moving. Whether it’s taking a sweaty drippy class – and we have several on the schedule that will do the trick! – going for a brisk walk, jumping rope, dancing, or whatever else gets your heart a-thumping, the way out of a funk is moving through it, through moving.
Last week I shared food options that can really help elevate your mood. You can check out that post by clicking here. In addition to adding heating spices into your life, also eat lighter. Instead of, say, a heaping bowl of mac-n-cheese (with Kapha-increasing dairy and pasta), go for a big salad with black beans or shrimp. Use the list of foods and spices options from last week to demystify the whole eating-for-springtime thing.
Speaking of spices, try sipping on some spiced tea. Warm tea is best this time of year (because Kapha is all about cold and damp, so we want to warm ya up!). Grab a saucepan, add some water, then toss in some spices like cloves, fresh ginger slices, black peppercorns, cardamom, and cinnamon for a chai-like blend without the caffeine or dairy. Let that blend simmer for a bit on the stove, then sip throughout the day.
Another way to ditch the excess Kapha is by warming your bones while spending some time in the sunshine. Notice how your mood elevates almost instantly. It doesn’t take long to feel the sun kissing your skin, and that action alone can bring about so much goodness. You can also get some warmth by sitting in front of a sunny window. Obviously, if sun exposure is contraindicated for you, ignore this suggestion. Use common sense while getting sun-kissed and wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and maybe a hat when needed.
Besides smelling the fresh, spring air outside, using essential oils can help perk ya right up. Some good ones to play with are jasmine, cinnamon, sandalwood, sage, wintergreen, myrrh, sage, rose, clove, ginger, lime, orange, chamomile, basil, mint, and thyme. I wouldn’t recommend putting all of these into a blend at the same time. Get creative and make your own blends by opening a few different bottles and smelling them together. You can find these oils at health food stores or online (here’s a nice selection). They’re great when used in a diffuser (I have this one and love it). Some essential oils shouldn’t be consumed or used on your skin, so do some research if you want to go that route. Also, only get therapeutic-grade oils so you’re not getting crappy products inside your bod.
I know when I’m feeling sluggish, I just want to stay under the covers with my cozy blanket and read. But lazing in bed for too long will increase Kapha, so resist the urge to nap. Also, if possible avoid sleeping for more than 7 hours at night. That being said, if you have underlying health conditions or are a new parent, get the sleep that you need. A great thing about Ayurveda is the customizable nature of the whole thing.
Finally, another great way to kick excess Kapha to the curb – and to really just enjoy yourself – is to laugh. When is the last time you had a good belly laugh? Put on a comedy special from your favorite comedian, watch silly cat videos, or just start laughing at absolutely nothing in particular. Have fun, be goofy, and just giggle.
As you’re experimenting with these Kapha-reducing techniques, here’s something to keep in mind when spicing up your life:
If you’re already a firecracker by nature, you’ll want to keep an eye on how your mood is by adding in all of this heat. We definitely don’t want you to get too fiery and feisty, so do a check-in and notice if you’re getting more irritable or short-fused. If so, ease off of the heat-producing techniques and spices for a bit.
Try out a few of these tips, then share what you’ve noticed in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear how you’re spicing up your life!