How to nourish yourself during autumn
With food, with warmth, with whatever you need.
This season calls for warm, cozy nourishment. It means filling and hearty stews, root vegetables and plenty of comfort food. It means potlucks with candlelight and a hot water bottle for your feet. Nourishment means all kinds of things to different people.
Take just a moment and list 5 things that would feel deeply nourishing right now: What would you eat, listen to, read, do, experience that would help you to feel well-fed?
Nourishment isn’t just about feeding our bodies, either. It’s about feeding our minds, souls, spirits, emotional bodies – our whole selves. We might be nourished in one area and craving something deeply in another. Notice where you might be skimping and offer yourself a little bit of nourishment there.
Feather your nest
Now that you’re feeling strong through nourishment, it’s time to tend a bit to your space. Maybe you don’t have a large space to work with, but as someone who lived in tiny (300 square foot studio, anyone?) spots, I tell you: small changes make a big different.
Maybe you’ll put an extra blanket on the bed. Perhaps you’ll switch your light bulbs to a less-harsh color and wattage. One of my favorite shifts at this time of year is when the flannel sheets replace our percale. Yum.
As our bodies prepare for the human-equivalent of hibernation, fall is an excellent time to spruce up your space and to make your home feel more like a home. Take a moment: what is your space calling for? What are some small changes that might help it to feel more cozy, more like a sanctuary?
Adjust your rhythm
The biggest change I notice as autumn takes hold is the shift in my energy. In the summer, I love going for walks in the evening, when the light is still strong at 8pm. In the fall, I need to remind myself that if I want some sunshine, I’ll have to shift my walk to an earlier time in the day.
In the fall, I tend to do my morning practice in the dark – and that can be a treat, too. I set myself up with extra blankets for my lap while I’m meditating. I light some candles, to make each morning feel like a sacred ritual. There’s a sweetness to this shift, and while my body wants to stay in bed a little longer, I’m always happy that I got up to make my practice happen.
As a result, I try to make my evenings quieter affairs. I make sure that bright screens are dimmed (or off) by 8 or 9pm. I’ve also been making more herbal teas lately to sip before bed. At this time of year, my bedtime tends to shift a half hour earlier (or so) in order to honor the rhythm of shorter days.
Notice how your body and rhythm are asking to shift. What are they craving and how could you make that shift a sacred practice, rather than a chore?
Socializing tends to happen less effortlessly in the colder, darker months. It takes more planning than simply going for a walk outside or meeting up at the park. With the weather turning colder and less predictable, the shift into winter can be a lonely one for some.
This doesn’t need to be the case. You just need to be more intentional about it.
Invite friends over for board games and dessert. Host potluck dinners (or even brunches!). Bundle up and go for that walk, anyway. Make a plan to do seasonal activities. (These include apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, or passing out Halloween candy to local kids). Notice how you could infuse your life with more community and make a point to reach out.
Release what doesn’t belong
At this time of year, the veil between this world and the unseen is at its thinnest. This means that it’s the perfect time to shed what isn’t serving us. This might look like releasing physically belongings from your home or wardrobe. Or it might look like setting down a grudge. Regardless, it’s a chance to take stock and let go of whatever isn’t contributing to your well-being.
Make it an intention this season to release what no longer belongs to you. Let it go. Allow it to move out of your life (and in some cases, allow it to serve others).
When you edit your life in this way, you create more space – physically, energetically, spiritually, financially – for what will bring you deep joy, gratitude, and fulfillment. It’s a worthy endeavor to release things at this time of year, while you’re simultaneously offering yourself nourishment in other areas of life.
Embrace the brisk!
Finally, a change in seasons doesn’t have to be a drag. Embrace the brisk! Bundle up and get outside regardless of the chill. If you’re dreading winter, that doesn’t have to be so. Instead, embrace what you do love about the season, and see it as an opportunity to support yourself and enjoy fabulous self-care.