Autumn is the season of bringing our lives back into harmony and balance. The expansive energy of summer is beginning to settle and we have reached the height of the harvest. Traditionally, this has always been a time to gather in celebration and give thanks as we harvest the bounty of our hard work. It is a great time to get organized, finish any projects that were begun in the spring and summer, and let go of those things that no longer serve your higher purpose. On a larger scale, in 2020, it feels like the world is struggling to release all of those things that have been holding us back from recognizing the humanity in one another and learning to co-exist in harmony. This battle will be raging for a long time which is why self-care is absolutely critical for social justice warriors.
What is Seasonal Self-Care?
Seasonal self-care is simply the practice of aligning your energy to the ebb and flow of the solar cycle and its seasonal effects. In the fall, the earth is shifting into the dark half of the year. The days are growing shorter and our energy is pulling inward for more reflection before the deeper introspective journey of winter. It is an important time to get grounded and centered. That longing to get cozy as the weather cools and the days nights get longer is instinctual.
The seasonal energy of autumn is all about the harvest. When we reflect and assess the actions of spring and summer we can honor the literal and metaphorical fruits of our labor. Even in the midst of what feels like a hopeless news cycle, there is progress being made. Look for the good news that is hidden by all the noise and chaos to help restore your faith and replenish your energy.
By aligning with the seasonal cycles we are tapping deep into the wisdom of living in harmony with Mother Earth. This is the time for reviewing where we need to bring balance back into our life. Be willing to change the things that no longer work in your life. Express gratitude for how they have served you and then release them. Remember that in order to weather the storms, you must be rooted in strength. Having a regular self-care routine that aligns with the seasonal energy will keep you feeling strong and staying healthy.
Self-Care Inspiration for Autumn
- Create Fall Affirmations. Saying affirmations throughout your daily routine can help reset your mind and act as a touchstone for when the world starts feeling out of control. It can be something as simple as “I am willing to let go” or “I trust in myself”. This isn’t about toxic positivity but rather, using conscious language to uplift yourself.
- Meditate daily. Fall is when we need to stay grounded and centered in order to keep our immune system strong. If you don’t already practice meditation, start by setting aside a time for quiet reflection, prayer or gratitude journaling.
- Eat seasonally. Roasted root veggies, a fall minestrone, warm apple crisp – autumn is the perfect time to cook with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Check what is in season near you with this Seasonal Food Guide.
- Develop a skincare routine. I wish I had paid more attention to this in my 20’s and 30’s! Indulge in good cleansers and moisturizers, use the facial masks, get the serum and remember to always wear sunscreen.
- Listen to your favorite music. Instead of turning on the TV for background noise, play your favorite artist, or create a fall playlist to help lift your spirits.
- De-clutter your home. This doesn’t have to be the whole house, or even a whole room. Pick something that you have been “meaning to get to” for awhile now and clear it out. Is it a junk drawer full of old batteries and broken crayons? Is it that one surface that always gets piled with stuff and left for days? Clearing it out will help clear your head.
- Move your body. It’s all too easy to stop being as active once summertime ends so make it a priority to set up a solid workout routine. Find something that you love and feels good then be sure to follow through with it every day.
- Set Boundaries. We are still in the midst of an epic global shit show with the pandemic, disinformation, polarization and hate, and social injustices (not to mention Mother Earth having reached the breaking point). You have to protect your mental health and set firm boundaries about what you will or will not tolerate. It’s okay to tell people NO.
- Spend time outdoors. Soak up all of the glory of this season by getting outside as often as possible. There is no other time of the year quite like fall so savor as much of it as you can by going outdoors.
- Cozy up. Now that the nights are cooling down it’s time to bust out the cozy blankets, warm slippers and fall scented candles. Hang string lights to warm up your room, add another pillow onto the couch and bring in some fall decor to connect with the season.
Also published on Medium.