The Best Ways to Support Yourself During Autumn
Autumn is such a wonderful time. Even if the area you live in doesn’t experience the full ‘rust coloured dry leaves falling’ scene, there is still a definite shift you can feel when this season turns. Moving from the abundant energy and outward movements of Summer, we are now moving inward, transitioning from our most yang time into our most yin time, the deepest introverted phase of Winter.
Autumn is a time for slowing down a little, refining our direction and tidying up loose ends. This is an opportunity to re-balance ourselves from the outward energy of summer and spend more time in doors or in stillness, focusing on more alone time and deepening the relationship with ourselves.
This is a time where we may find ourselves considering what brings value to our life, what serves us and what and who fills us up.
Metal is the element of this season, and the lungs and large intestine are the organs associated. These allow us to become aware of what we want to bring into our world – through the breath via the lungs, and what we want to let go off, through a bowel movement through the large intestine, as we prepare for our most inward and reflective time of winter.
Metal controls organisation, protecting and reinforcing our boundaries and setting limits. During this time there is the movement of contraction and pulling inwards and through the seasonal changes of dryness noticed in our environment, so too our body is naturally feeling drier, with lung and respiratory conditions increasing and our immunity possibly being challenged.
Both of the metal organs have a deep function of separating the pure from the impure. The lungs breathe in clean fresh oxygenated air, transporting it into our bloodstream then releasing carbon dioxide as waste.
The metal element represents the closing of a phase, project or stage of our life. It reflects the movement into our retirement years, finishing a certain chapter and the closing of a relationships that no longer serve us. This phase has a strong tendency to allow us to ‘let go’ smoothly and with grace. When we find ourselves struggling with this letting go; we may be holding onto to behavioural patterns, grieving the ending of something or finding it difficult to finalise projects, we are ultimately moving against the innate powers of this season and not embracing the full support of this transitional time and instead may find ourselves hardening like the material form of metal itself.
There is great power and peace to be experienced in the surrendering actions of the metal element through letting go.
Decluttering our space during autumn is a beautiful practice, both of letting go and to prepare for the deeper inward time of winter. Creating more space and determining a ‘home’ for everything creates gentle order and organisation and helps boost our clarity and calms our nervous system by removing any unnecessary noise and distraction.
MIND + EMOTIONS
Aim to finalise a project or ‘to-do’ that has been neglected and pushed aside. Often we may find things like this are easier than we thought and feel incredible once their done and we can bask in the openness and lightness from having them completed.
Get organised : refine and simplify your schedule, calendar, ways you manage things like you finances and declutter your home and office
Finalise and tidy up any loose ends, unfinished projects or to-do’s before beginning new ones
The emotions of sadness and grief are assigned to Autumn, utilise this time to let go and surrender
Prioritise time for ‘self’ for reflection and gratitude
Breathing exercises, breathwork, focusing on deeper inhalations and belly breathing
Bring focus to more strengthening exercises rather than cardio
Eating hearty foods, bitter and salty
Root vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dark chocolate, dandelion tea, kale, coriander, brussel sprouts, roquette, spinach, silverbeet, seaweeds, miso, good quality sea salt
Carrots, turnips, pears, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, parsley, kale, chilli, garlic, ginger (dry and fresh), horseradish, rich foods and meats (if you eat them), legumes especially lentils and stewy dishes
Pumpkin seeds, walnuts
Boost immunity by :
Eating lots of vegetables & some fruits (pears are the best for the lungs)
Refill your cup by getting lots of sleep
Enjoying the company of people (or pets) you love and care about
Aiming to remove or minimise daily stressors
Creating a consistent workout routine : focusing on strengthening exercises rather than cardio
Doing things that bring you joy
Minimising electronic use and alcohol
Making space and time for reflection, letting go and tidying up loose ends
Enjoy this season and all the wonders this Autumn shift can guide us through.