It’s that time of year again: the nights are growing longer, and trees are preparing for a long cold winter. Autumn is well and truly here. That means – if you want to live to your fullest potential, and do so in a healthy and wholesome way – it is time to tune into the natural energy of autumn.
Our tendency is to bulldoze our way through each calendar year, by more or less ignoring the cyclical nature of birth (spring), growth (summer), harvest (autumn) and decay (winter). Modern Western culture expects us to be the same every day – look after our families, go to work, be productive, race around, get things done – but we’re not the same every day. Humans, like nature, are cyclical beings. We are in a constant state of rise and fall. We are deeply affected by the natural energy of the changing seasons, the moon, the tides and our own monthly cycles.
Autumn is a time for letting go. Just as deciduous trees must let go of their leaves in order to survive and grow, we too must let go of what no longer serves us. Let it fall gracefully from our branches, and let clarity and lightness take its place.
Here are four practical tips for adapting your daily routines to the autumn season:
1. Time outdoors: Make sure you spend time in nature, allowing your skin to drink in vitamin D, as this is essential for your emotional and physical well-being. You might need to adjust your daily routines towards going outdoors more around the middle of the day, instead of early mornings or late evenings, as we prepare for the shorter, darker days ahead. Make sure this is fully incorporated into your daily regime before you lose all motivation when winter sets in!
2. Clear the clutter: Make space and time to get rid of clutter in your home and garden (and mind). If it doesn’t light you up, it’s time to release it. Like an autumnal tree, it generously drops its fruit in autumn. When you let things go – recycling them in a responsible way – you will find that someone else can put it to good use and that you yourself end up feeling lighter and more spacious.
3. Autumnal foods: Boost your natural immunity by eating foods that are autumnal. Try adding foods to your diet that are naturally orange, red, yellow and deep greens – autumn-like colours. Think pumpkin, squash, oranges, carrots, lemons etc.
4. Yoga: Yoga is good for you in all seasons (I would say that as a yoga teacher)! But it is a wonderfully releasing practice to do regularly during autumn, as it encourages you to let things find their resting place, and shed all expectations and pressures that are weighing you down. I have weekly yoga classes, or treat yourself to a whole day of yoga and walking at Easton Village Hall: http://www.sherinshe.com/yoga/