I am smitten with Fall. Walks at dusk, and the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my feet cozy me up to the idea of less hours of sunshine, and the potential for rain. I light the candles, sleep a little later, and take my time welcoming the day. An oversized sweater, beanie, and fleece socks are familiar friends this time of year. They comfort me while I sip tea, and journal outside in the brisk air of the morning.
Although I love all seasons, no other time of year evokes a sense of coming home. After lengthy travel, nothing feels better than to walk through the door, unload baggage from your shoulders, strip off your shoes, and drape your tired body over the sofa. The relinquishing of hustle and bustle, and sheer exhaustion that is so quickly replaced with total surrender to relaxation––that feeling is Fall for me.
Fall is comfort. It is grounding. It is a time for nurturing our hearts and our health. It is also a time for harvesting, and for celebrating gifts manifested from desires planted in Spring and Summer.
Maybe for you, a sunny weather commitment was to reset your wellbeing by eating lighter, and spending more active hours outside. As we transition into Autumn, you have an opportunity to continue nurturing your renewed self, but in a different way. You can still maintain your commitment while enjoying grounding and more hearty foods. Nourishing slow-cooked grains, soups, stews, roasted root vegetables, braised greens, and healthy fats are utilized efficiently when consumed in small quantities, and enjoyed through Sensory Eating.
Fitness commitments made in prior months need not be dismissed either. Now is a great time to heat up from the inside with activities like yoga, indoor cycling, Pilates, or a boot camp style workout if that is your thing. Also, getting outside in the crisp Autumn air, bundled up for a run or a hike is incredibly stimulating. Keep your focus on fitness strong despite not feeling up for a paddle board session or a swim.
Maybe in the Spring, you chose to detoxify your space and body by eliminating clutter from your home while also releasing thoughts and behaviors that were toxic to your emotional wellbeing. In the Fall, you can continue to cleanse by adding to, rather than taking away.
Introducing nervous system and body harmonizing nutrients into your daily eating routine is a great way to strengthen organ function and boost immunity to prepare you for cold season. Some of my favorite herbs for Fall or anytime I seek restoration and balance are ashwagandha, moringa, and mucuna pruriens. During these cooler months, I enjoy making a nightcap of warm almond milk, a few drops of vanilla, a pinch of sea salt, a touch of sweetener like honey or yacon syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of each of the herbs.
Another tonic you may enjoy that is anti-inflammatory and gently warms you from the core is a cup of warmed milk with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, a pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon coconut butter, sweetener to taste, and a few drops of vanilla. For both drinks, whisk to thoroughly blend, and sip in stillness.
As for your space, bringing in a few intentionally grounding pieces will bring warmth and comfort into your environment. A few candles, Fall flowers and some soft cozy blankets to curl up in at the end of the day should do the trick.
If your commitment was to say ‘yes’ to more social engagements, gracing your friend’s BBQ’s all summer long, you do not need to hibernate just because it is Fall. Use these months to gather friends in your home. Cook together or host a potluck event, inviting everyone to bring their favorite Fall dish. Put on some dinner party music, pour wine, and dine together over earthy bowls of fall recipes like chili, wild rice dishes, hearty green salads, simmered greens, squash soup, and roasted roots.
This is also a great season to explore topics of interest, and to re-engage in hobbies you may have hung up while you played outside. Read. Ponder. Practice.
Take this time ground and slow down. Establish rituals that are comforting and restorative like an evening walk or relaxing bath, meditation in the morning or at night, and perhaps a practice of making a daily gratitude list to keep your heart warm as the days become colder.
Happy Autumn Equinox!