There is a juxtaposition that occurs during this season. A delicious savoring of the last treasures of warmer months, and a deep acceptance and craving for the slowing down that fall offers.
Before they go, the leaves put on such a show, as if they are saying, “Don’t forget me while I am gone.” Quite like a brilliant going away party. But then we have no choice but to let the leaves go.
Fall is an excellent time to shed your own leaves, harvest the bountiful fruits from the last season of your life, and prepare for going within. Below, I have provided 5 tips for supporting yourself during fall so that you can best utilize this opportunity for a more restorative season.
1) Reassess values, let go of what is no longer serving you:
Summer is an extremely expansive season, and with so much expansion (social gatherings, vacations, things to do), we can become depleted and burned out. Fall is the time to scale everything back, to assess where you have been giving your energy and see if it is contributing to your upmost well-being. While we may not have the opportunity to scale back certain aspects of our lives, there are probably other areas where we may be able to. Maybe you don’t need to do it all, or can create better boundaries around your time to allow for more restoration. Where can you let go of things that are not serving you?
2) Harvest what you have grown:
During this time, the trees are heavy with fruit. Apples are ripening and squashes are filling the vines to provide such abundance. The same can be reflected in your own life. Where were you in spring? What has changed in your life since then? What were some of the most rewarding or beautiful moments that you experienced in the last several months? Relish in bounty of your growth, celebrate it! Give gratitude for the various harvests in your life and savor them like colorful leaves.
3) Prepare for winter:
Depending on your living situation, there may be actual tasks that you need to complete before winter comes, such as gathering fire wood, or stocking your pantry. Even if you don’t have physical tasks that need to be done before winter sets in, we can prepare for winter on other levels. Allow yourself to get excited to slow down and get cozy. What practices might you incorporate as we descend into longer nights? There may be more opportunity for self care, going within and retreating. What winter practices excite you? Are there tools that you may need in order to establish these practices within your routine?
4) Eat Seasonally:
Did someone say pumpkin spice? When we think of fall foods, earthy squashes and aromatic spices probably come to mind. This is for good reason. Sweet squashes provide the body with adequate nourishment during the seasonal shift, they are nutrient dense and especially when paired with warming spices, allow the body to cultivate more warmth. Soups, stews, cooked vegetables and other foods which are warm and easy to digest are the most supportive during this time. Pair with small amounts of fermented vegetables or raw radishes, to brighten up the flavors and prevent the meals from being too heavy. Seasonal eating follows nature's rhythm and allows for a more easeful transition into winter.
5) Incorporate Fall Herbs:
For many, the transition into cooler weather can be difficult. It can be challenging to break the chill that can set into an unacclimated body’s bones. Herbs that support circulation and promote warmth can help one better adjust to the colder weather ahead. The simple act of enjoying a warm cup of tea can not be overstated, for it nourishes us on so many levels!