Autumn is here and the trees are about to show why it’s okay to let things go! With this change in seasons comes shorter days and cooler weather. Thankfully, we don’t need to curl up and hibernate just yet! Autumn is a wonderful time to set new intentions for self care, begin a new wellness routine or revamp what you have been doing for while. The Christmas holidays will be here before you know it and prioritising self care now will help you stay on track during those even busier winter months.
In Eastern Medicine, Autumn is regarded as a time to pull our energy inward to prepare for winter. Autumn is about layering up and slowing down. It’s normal during this transition to feel a sense of loss as the light fades, but a great way to cheer yourself up is to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous colours.
Cultivating balance is key during any transition. Do you notice how many people tend to get sick in the Autumn and Winter seasons? Often it’s because we’re depleted, not living in alignment with the season and in serious need of rest.
Recognising that we are part of the cycle of nature and that there is a time to put our energy outward (Spring and Summer) and a time to draw our energy inward (Autumn and Winter) sets the foundation for a sustainable wellness practice. Making even slight lifestyle adjustments to our everyday rituals will support our wellbeing on many levels.
Once the summer energy is far behind us it can be hard to get motivated to take care of ourselves. The more you can prepare now, the more likely it is that you will be able to stay on track during those cold, darker months ahead.
GET PLENTY OF REST
Sleep is essential to keeping us happy and healthy. Studies show that over time, lack of quality sleep impairs the immune system which makes us more susceptible to colds and viruses that frequently float around during those cooler months.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don’t go overboard setting crazy goals for yourself. It’s important to consider our obligations and what our current schedule looks like when we’re in the goal setting process. In the long run it’s more beneficial to set goals that are reachable, and then add on from there.
CHECK YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS
We get the majority of our vitamin D from the sun. Naturally our intake decreases in cooler months from spending more time indoors. Vitamin D increases fertility, keeps our bones strong and supports the immune system. We see many people in clinic who have muscular aches and pains and often it is low vitamin D levels which is the cause. Schedule a visit with your doctor to check your vitamin D levels so you can know how much you need to supplement with. This is a very routine test with a quick turnaround time for results.
NOURISH WITH SEASONAL FOODS
Squash, dark leafy greens, apples, beets, soups and stews are all great places to start. Autumn is an ideal season to spend some time in the kitchen preparing your favourite nourishing foods. Autumn is a great time to enjoy warmer meals prepared with love. Set aside a few hours each weekend to prepare some of your favourite foods for the week. My favourite is homemade chicken soup using the carcass to make the broth and packed full of dark leafy greens and beans.
LEARN TO SAY NO!
Over committing is something we all do! No is a very powerful word, much more powerful than YES! Look at where and what you are spending your time on or at, and what you would like to change in your week. Do you feel you never take time for yourself, do you always say yes and then have a feeling of regret. Saying no is not selfish, but often necessary to not use all your energy reserves up for other people, family, friends, events etc. What can you say NO to and be happy with your decision?