In nature, each season represents a certain stage of life: when autumn arrives, the blooming heat of summer fades, the trees shed their leaves and the forests become quieter. Many people also feel tired and listless at this time and withdraw into themselves. Where does this autumn fatigue come from and what can we do about it? Elisabeth Mauracher, Managing Director of the EA® Resort Sonnhof, visionary & pioneer of European Ayurveda® has answers to these and other exciting questions.
Interview with Elisabeth Mauracher
What is autumn fatigue?
In Ayurveda, the Vata period begins in October. Autumn therefore marks a dosha change from Pitta, the fire element, to Vata, which stands for air and space. The air element is responsible for movement, which is why many fluctuations in our physical and mental energy levels can occur. For example, colder outside temperatures: the body has to generate more heat itself to maintain a constant temperature. This requires more energy than in summer. Energy consumption is therefore higher and can lead to exhaustion or tiredness. Experience shows that our body needs more energy in the fall for almost all functions - from digestion and metabolism to regeneration.
How does autumn fatigue differ from autumn depression?
Autumn fatigue is a symptom of the seasonal transition. It is therefore not constant, but fluctuates. For example, you feel better on a sunny day than on a darker, rainy one.
In depression, on the other hand, the negative mood is constant over a longer period of time - usually independent of external influences.
Are there any nutrients that we lose in the fall?
As the intensity of sunlight decreases, vitamin D production falls for the majority of people. There is also less regional fruit and vegetables in the fall. For many people, this also changes the variety of nutrients in their diet. However, as mentioned at the beginning, we have a higher energy consumption in the fall than in the summer. We would therefore be dependent on a balanced diet right now. Instead, our immune and metabolic systems are often under greater strain, which makes us more susceptible to colds and flu-like infections.
How and when can I best prevent autumn fatigue?
From mid-September, or as soon as the weather gets cooler and the days shorter, you can start integrating more hot meals into your diet.
You should also use sunny days to strengthen your immune system and prepare your body better for the fall.
In addition, spending time with family and friends, joint activities or sport can promote the release of serotonin - the happiness hormone - which counteracts a depressed mood.
Playing with pets or going for a long walk with them in the evening can also help to counteract laziness.
Why do you recommend Ayurveda for autumn fatigue?
Ayurveda is a lifestyle that is not primarily aimed at curing illness, but above all at maintaining health. Ayurveda therefore has many routines and tools that help you to lead a healthy lifestyle, especially in "difficult" times.
5 Ayurvedic tips against autumn fatigue at a glance
- Start the day with a positive morning routine and, if possible, some time in the fresh air and sunshine.
- Incorporate hot meals into your diet, especially at breakfast and dinner.
- Dairy products in moderation (including cheese), nuts, root vegetables and warming spices (e.g. cinnamon, cloves, allspice) help to reduce Vata and thus provide more grounding and relaxation.
- A self-massage with sesame or almond oil promotes blood circulation and relaxes the muscles and nervous system.
- Spend a lot of time with family and friends - preferably in nature - instead of sitting at home in front of a screen.
Immerse yourself in the Ayurvedic way of life and treat yourself to a break at the European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof this fall!