Step into autumn with balance
Have you noticed a change in energy as we go from summer to autumn?
In nature this is marked by cooler, damper days which are getting darker earlier. Animals start to gather and store food supplies and many plants shed their leaves and create seeds for new growth in spring.
School and college are starting back and this year work life seems to be returning to more time in the actual physical workspace with face-to-face interaction. There is also a sense that we don't want everything to return as it was before the pandemic, that we want to create a new 'normal' that affords us more balance in our lives for a greater sense of wellbeing.
So, now is the ideal time for new beginnings, new goals, new faces, and new commitments. As the leaves start to fall off the trees, we can start to think about what behaviours and actions we want to fall away and those we want to refresh, revive or begin anew.
Aligning our tasks, environment, diet, exercise and mind set with the seasons helps bring balance to our lives through the rhythm of the nature and therefore helps prevent burn out. During Autumn we focus on reaping, that is, reflecting on our recent activities, celebrating the successes and letting go of things that no longer serve us. Our diet and exercise should focus on building resilience to prepare us for a healthy winter ahead.
Work and life projects
In Autumn life has finished its spring / summer growth spurt and everything is starting to turn inward. The cooler weather and shorter days make it an ideal time for reflection, self discovery and planning.
Things to do:
Make time for regular reflection. This can be done by: sitting comfortably in a pleasant environment and thinking; going for a walk; having a bath; writing in a journal; or talking to a partner or friend about things to keep doing, change or start anew. There are some great questions to ask yourself here.
Set your new intentions. Now is the ideal time to review and set your intentions. Maybe use the answers to some of the questions above and / or I like to us use the Desire Map process as outlined in the book The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte.
She asserts that it’s not the goal (new car, holiday, designer outfit, perfect partner etc.) we are chasing but rather the way we think it might make us feel. So her idea is to start with how you want to feel and create a set of ‘core desired feelings’ and then try to incorporate something into your daily routine to help your achieve this feeling. With worksheets and questionnaires, the book takes you through step by step how to work out your core desired feelings. It’s a new way of planning your life and schedule that can leave you feeling more joyous, less stressed and more aligned to your individual purpose.
More work orientated questions can be found in her workbook Fire Starter Sessions. Worksheets can be viewed here.
Start a meditation practice. This may give you insights for new growth in Spring. Try the apps Headspace, Calm or Deepak Chopra and Oprah's 21 Day meditation experience.
Start a gratitude journal. The benefits are numerous. You can read about them here. For tips on keeping a gratitude journal, see here.
Start new hobbies / projects. Make time for activities that bring you joy. Many classes and workshops start in Autumn so now is a perfect time to enroll.
Things to do:
Move things around. Start to make things more snug and cosy ready for cooler weather. Movement of items helps increase positive energy and decrease the negative.
Light candles. These represent fire and will add warm energy to your environment. Bees wax and soy candles are best for your health. I also have many fairy lights around the house to create warmth.
Add warm colours. Add some Autumn colours to your environment to warm it. You can do this with cushions, throws, flowers, table décor, towels etc.
Add metal. Though this might seem cold, it is the Feng Shui element for Autumn and thus it brings positive energy to your home. Add it via metal objects, oval shaped objects (this shape represents metal) and the colours of silver, grey and black. These contrast nicely with the oranges, reds, yellows and browns of warm Autumn colours.
Things to do:
Eat warming seasonal foods. As the weather gets cooler, balance your body with warming foods to help prevent winter illness. Limit raw salads and cold drinks. Try eating more:
· Root vegetables: sweet potato; carrots; squash; pumpkin
· Whole grains: quinoa; brown rice; oats; millet
· Legumes: beans; chickpeas; lentils; soybeans
· Green vegetables: broccoli; spinach; kale; celery; rocket; artichokes
· Fruit: pomegranates; apples; pears; citrus fruits
· Fish: cod; haddock; sole; sea bass
· Herbs: cinnamon; nutmeg; cardamom; turmeric; ginger; rosemary; thyme; basil; oregano; marjoram; dill.
Drink herbal teas. The ritual of making tea aligns you to the slower pace of Autumn as well as being therapeutic. Sipping a warm cup pf tea is also a good way to incorporate regular reflective time into your schedule. Prepare your immune system for winter with immune supporting teas such as Elderberry, Echinacea, Elecampane and Oregano. As Autumn is a transitional season, adaptogenic herbs can be beneficial. Consult a herbalist to find the most appropriate one for you.
Take Vitamin D. D3 or cholecalciferol is best as it is the natural form of vitamin D that your body makes from sunlight. It’s essential during cooler weather when sun is often lacking because it helps with normal immune functioning.
Things to do:
Get some fresh Autumn air. Enjoy walking through leaves. Thirty minutes of walking daily can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.
Keep socialising. As we move out of the extroverted, yang energy of summer and into the quieter yin energy of autumn and winter, it’s important to keep social for balance. Halloween and Fireworks events are fun seasonal activities. Now is also a great time to have friends and family over for a meal or drinks.
Always check with a qualified health professional for contraindications to your current health and medications.
If you’d like any life or health coaching to help you focus your Autumn energy then please contact me for an appointment. Watch this space for tips on how to work with the other seasons as they emerge throughout the rest of this year.