AUTUMN SELF CARE • Ally Draizin
I love the shorter days, the crisp sunlight, and the cooler weather of autumn. For me, autumn is a time of self-reflection. I spend more time lost in thought, sipping overnight herbal infusions, and eating roasted squash. It's a time for journaling, drawing, reading, and taking inventory of what is working and isn't working in our lives as we slide into winter.
Autumn in our bodies means that our blood & energy starts to move downward and inward. Vital energy moves away from the skin & head, towards the torso & pelvis. Circulation moves inward, lymphatic function slows down. Our skin & extremities start to cool off and dry out as our blood starts to slow and thicken. None of that is bad. The body instinctively stays aligned with the seasons. The body knows what's best.
A U T U M N S E L F C A R E
Self Massage | After showering, while your skin is still dripping wet, take a small palmful of oil (refined sesame, sunflower, almond, or coconut) and apply to both legs, arms, and torso. Massage your tummy in gentle circles (clockwise aids digestion). Massage your bum, lower back, and upwards toward your underarms. Massage both legs with long circular strokes traveling upwards on the inner leg and downwards on the outside of the leg. Massage both arms with long circular strokes traveling upwards on the inner arm and downwards on the outer arm. Blot dry with a towel you're not totally in love with (it will get oil stained). Do this every day if you want, or minimum once per week. You can add a drop or two of a warming essential oil to your bottle of massage oil. My faves- cardamom, ginger, rosemary, marjoram.
Dry Brushing | Using a soft brush, brush your body (prior to showering) using upwards strokes (always towards the heart). Start by brushing the torso & back, then bum & thighs, lower legs & feet, upper arms, forearms & hands, then down the sides of the neck. This stimulates circulation and the lymphatic system. Finish by hopping in the shower and doing your regularly scheduled shower-y stuff.
Foot Soak | Fill a large bowl with warm water (respect your heat tolerance, listen to your body). Add a teaspoon of sea salt, and a teaspoon of baking soda. Take your shoes off and luxuriate in the warm water until it cools. Dry your feet carefully, slather on some foot balm or coconut oil, and put on some fluffy socks. This feels so good after a long day of standing on your feet.
Hair Oil | Apply a dime-to-quarter sized amount of oil to damp hair. Massage into scalp and wrap hair in a turban (again, it's oil so use a towel you're not totally in love with). Leave on overnight, or rinse off with lots of shampoo after 1-2 hours. Hair tends to dry out with sun exposure, so autumn is an ideal time to nourish and replenish your hair. This is my favorite hair oil ever.
Post-Sun Repair | Antioxidants are essential at the end of summer, both internally and externally. Matcha tea is a fantastic drink. Mixing some matcha powder into a clay mask is a brilliant topical treatment. My favorite antioxidant treatments are La Vie En Rose Balm & Photovoltaic Oilserum. My favorite antioxidant food = prunes. If you don't like prunes, you probably haven't had prunes soaked in Armagnac. Swoon.
Nourishing Overnight Infusion | My favorite fall beverage. Put a handful of your favorite dried herbs (I like a blend of tulsi, nettle, lemon balm, rose petals, and spearmint) in a french press, then fill it with filtered water. Stash this in the fridge overnight, and press to strain in the morning. Some herbs aren't meant to be taken indefinitely, so please research the long-term safety of any plant before embarking on this journey.