What you can do to stay in tune with autumn
- Go to bed earlier and rise earlier
- Be more peaceful and partake in quiet reflection
- Gently moisten the lungs and body surfaces, including the sinus and throat. Add sour foods to your diet and eat nourishing fluid producing foods to combat the dryness of autumn
- Breathe deeply through your nose – the nasal hairs catch pathogens and nitric oxide is produced when you breath through you nose which among other things it improves immunity
- Drink rosehip tea – is sour and full of vitamin C
- Wash your hands more frequently – no need to expand on this in our current environment!
- As the days become colder introduce warming spices into the diet
- Transition cooking methods to slower cooked meals
- For aches and pains and stiff joints, especially the knees and feet acupressure Bl 57
The nature of Autumn
Autumn is a time for turning in and becoming more introspective. We can look to nature to see the energy of autumn. As day light hours decline, it is time for harvesting, gathering, storing and readying the body for the cold winter months. The energy is starting to withdraw from being outwards and expansive as it is in summer to becoming inner and contracting.
Autumn and Dryness
The climate becomes drier. Leaves crinkle and dry, trees lose their leaves, fruits fall, seeds dry and animals gather preparing for the cold winter months. It is the time for harvest, to store food, to collect warmer clothes, readying to protect against coldness and preserve warmth.
A Time of transition
Autumn is a time of transition form warm to cold. Energy in our body moves inwards. If we don’t align our body with the movement of nature, our body will not transition well and this will cause imbalance or dis-ease. For example, in autumn, this is often manifested as respiratory issues, allergies and dryness.
An autumn diet and lifestyle
With energy drawing in, we want to reflect this in our lifestyle, food and eating habits. Start by going to bed earlier (before 11pm) and rising early. It is time to start a slow transition of moving away from salads and summer foods. Instead eat slower cooked meals. This will supply the body with the energy it needs to warm the body during the cooler months.
The lungs are our first defence to the outside world, and we want them to be functioning well to avoid the respiratory diseases, colds and flus we often find around seasons of transition. If you breath through your nose, the little hairs can catch and contain pathogens, preventing them to go further down the respiratory tract. So many people are in the bad habit of breathing through their mouth.
Ensure you are out in sunlight hours so you are getting your dose of sunlight to promote your immune system. Eat 5 colours of fruit and vegetables in your diet so you are getting an array of antioxidants. Stay active and include stretching in your routine to combat the aches and pains.
To prevent dryness and warm the body
It is also the time for nourishment to counteract the dryness of autumn. Foods like pears, honey, nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs and pork all nourish the fluids and prevent dryness.
Adding sour foods such as fermented foods, sourdough bread, olives, rosehip tea, vinegar, yogurt and sour fruits also help to prevent dryness as they are gently moistening and holds in fluids. In addition, they help to bring your energy inwards as they are astringent in nature. The energy of autumn is about organising and bringing your focus inwards. To adjust to the colder months requires organisation and you can help your body bring in more order through foods that contract inwards or astringe.
In early autumn avoid spicy warm foods and spices that can cause dryness. However as the days become cooler in late autumn, we want to start having warming foods like ginger and cinnamon. It is also the time to take tonics to stay warm and promote our digestion for the heavier foods we will be eating during winter.