Autumn is well and truly here. The leaves are yellowing and falling, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are nestled in people’s hands and the air feels crisp.
Just as the seasons cycle every year so do our mindset and energetic balance. It’s a good idea to use these weather based shifts to reassess our self-care routines and emotional and nutritional needs. This time for reflection is often overlooked, but, if harnessed and navigated successfully, could leave you feeling more balanced and in tune with your body
as it steps through the seasons.
During Autumn the earth is preparing to rest and regenerate. Everything in nature is slowing down, the buzzing energy of summer is fizzling out and the need to stay grounded becomes more apparent. Here are some tips to help you embrace Autumn with open arms.
Create a nest
You might have noticed the animals in your garden starting to prepare for the colder months – gathering food to keep in their stores and creating a warm and cozy space where they can sit out the frosty weather.
There’s no reason why we shouldn’t do the same. Try leaning towards spending more time indoors, lighting up a fire, putting on some cozy clothes and nestling in to this time of rest and digest.
Plus, with the rise in darkness as the days draw in, you will naturally feel the need to slow down, taking in the last bits of sun before the weather truly begins to cool. Make your home environment the perfect stay-at-home space – maybe lighting Autumnal smelling candles, creating a little pumpkin and gourd display to honour the new season or stocking up on warming teas and hot chocolate. Try and get outside to see the sun whilst you can,
but don’t put pressure on yourself to be active every single day.
Eat with the seasons
Autumn is harvest time and all of the earth’s fruits are fully ripening. These foods – pumpkin, butternut squash, blackberries, apples, root vegetables – are ready for us to consume now for a reason. These foods are rich and heavy and give us the energy that we need to transition into winter.
As Autumn and Winter descend start to think about your nutrition and cooking practices. Focus on:
- Eating cooked, easy to digest fibre-rich food
- Include warming and digestive spices in your cooking
- Add in some simple digestive teas
Think warming soups and broths, trays of roasted root veggies and poached fruits with cinnamon. Spices like ginger, garlic, nutmeg and anise are perfect for this time. Next time you whizz round the supermarket look for seasonal produce and your body will thank you.
According to Ayurveda, each season has different properties. Autumn is considered very dry (vata) while early spring is wet and heavy (kapha). As we move into Autumn you might feel some vata-related imbalances such as excess nervous energy, anxiety, trouble focusing, difficulty sleeping, dryness of the skin and constipation.
Eastern wisdom can go a long way in helping us make the necessary adjustments to balance out these imbalances as we move into the new season. A few ideas include:
- Early to bed and early to rise – change your sleeping habits to mirror the sun
- Leave time between meals to fully digest
- Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime
- Listen to your body and honour what it’s asking for – don’t expect it to continue at the same
- pace as it did last season, allow it to slow down and do what it needs to do
Give power to your immune system
As the weather cools our immune system can become compromised. Movement can help to keep illness at bay by stimulating the immune system – find a gentle movement method that you enjoy such as yoga, pilates, walking or dancing and try and fit this into your daily
Daylight can positively affect your immune system with it’s Vitamin D boosting properties. Try and get a daily dose of light on sunny Autumnal days – start your day with a morning walk or even eat your breakfast or drink your coffee outside.
Set an intention
Intention setting at the start of each new season can help you to keep focused and excited about what the new part of the year could bring.
Light a candle, grab a piece of paper and pen and spend some time thinking about your ideal day, week or life, visualise the beautiful season ahead and write down anything that you want to achieve or feel during this time. Revisit these notes as the season progresses and you might find that it helps you to stay positive, on track and could give you a well
needed mental boost.
Take the next few weeks to rest, to stay warm and cozy, to eat hearty, warming foods and to fully welcome Autumn into your mind, body and home.