I’m here today to share some applicable Ayurvedic wisdom with you. These six simple pieces of advice follow the rule that, “Like qualities increase like, and opposites balance.” In other words, if you spend your rainy weekend eating ice cream, watching Netflix, and sinking into your couch, you will feel like a slug. However, read on for a few easy-to-apply tips to keep you feeling good and overcoming the rainy day blues.
1) Eat bitter greens and spring veggies
The bitter taste is often a sign of potent medicinal properties. Properties which your body most likely could benefit from after the frigid cold spells we’ve experienced this winter. Enjoying bitter foods will help you lose some of those winter pounds, endow you with a sense of lightness, and remove brain-fog.
Bitter greens like arugula, dandelion, kale, broccoli rabe, collard greens, and chard are best served this time of year lightly sautéed or otherwise cooked. Also, explore roasting some seasonal vegetables like radishes, asparagus, and artichokes. Nature offers us the bitter and slightly spicy tastes we need this time of year.
For some season appropriate dish inspiration, see our Kapha Pacifying recipes.
2) Go dairy-free
I recently enjoyed a dinner composed solely of cheese while in Paris. It was delicious, but caused me to sleep for more hours than I’d like to admit. In this dreary weather, dairy will make you feel sleepy, sluggish, slothful, and slug-like. Lots of good can come from dairy in the summer, autumn, and early winter, but now is not the best time.
3) Spice up your life
“He who controls the spice controls the universe.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune
Spices help improve digestion which in turn increases energy, motivation, focus, and mood. It’s a good time of year to avoid bland tasting food, and spices are great for adding complexity to flavor. Essentially any spice is good this time of year, but some of my seasonal favorites include ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, and cumin.
The only spice to limit this time of year is salt. Too much salt will cause retention which will make you feel more sluggish.
4) Java Love
If there is ever a time of year that is good for coffee, it’s now. Coffee’s bitter taste, heating properties, and caffeine can help you navigate through these damp days. Your proper consumption of coffee depends on your constitution and current state of health, so enjoy mindfully and in moderation.
5) Move Your Body
Exercise is an amazing tool for staying energetic and clearheaded through heavy rainy days. Scientific research shows it improves circulation, promotes the release of feel-good endorphins, sharpens cognition, raises mood, and much more. This could be yoga, walking, working out at the gym, playing with your (grand)kids, or whatever gets your heart rate and body temperature up. Aim for at least twenty minutes daily. You should feel more energetic after your exercise. If you don’t, your exercise is too intense.
6) Pump Up the Jams
Turn up the volume, sing loudly, and dance like no one’s looking. Let yourself be free, smile, laugh, and enjoy! It’s easy to feel downtrodden and burdened on long rainy streaks. Kick away creeping feelings of gloominess by infusing yourself with the energy of your favorite upbeat tracks.