SEASONAL SELF-CARE: FALL EDITION
I am so excited to welcome in the fall season! With the fall season comes the Harvest Moon, cooler weather, breathtaking warm colors, more time for rest, and the gathering of apples, carrots, beets, pumpkins, and other wonderful nutritious, seasonal foods. All of these seasonal elements can be incorporated into your self-care routine, from your meals to your daily skincare! If you have not taken time to embrace self-care in this difficult year, now is the perfect time to prioritize a routine for your overall health.
Most of us have learned where we stand when it comes to confronting change in our lives after the past 18 months, and although change can seem like a major disruption to our health and well-being, there are lots of ways to connect to a changing season that can add to your overall wellness.
This is the ideal season in the cycle of nature to choose ease over discomfort, to simplify and balance out life. I encourage you to tap into this season and see what can be harvested in your life. What seeds did you plant? What are the fruits of your labor that you can enjoy and practice gratitude for? There are many ways to do that in your life!
Represented by the sunset, the fall is located to the west on the ancient “medicine wheel.” Each season on the medicine wheel becomes a metaphor for wellness practices and nutritional needs to keep us healthy. Many who do not connect with or ground themselves in the energy of the season find themselves suffering from illnesses, allergies, lethargy, addictions, weight gain and abnormal fluctuations, and body aches and pains.
Your lungs and large intestines are the most sensitive during this time according to Chinese Medicine. With weak lungs comes a weak line of defense in your skin’s immune system. Here is a list of fall foods for skin health and hair health benefits. From brightening dark spots, to reducing inflammation, and preventing early aging, indulging in these superfoods of the season is a great way to support your skin.
In addition to seasonal nutrition, start off with a cleanse or detox and continue to exercise and practice deep breathing. Cleansing your digestive system will help strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight off the colds and viruses that pop up in the fall.
The colors on the trees are replicated in the foods we eat. Aim to create meals with deep, warm hues from ingredients like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, pomegranates, and brussels sprouts. Soups and cooked vegetables are preferred as warming foods are optimal for health during the season. Here is a more comprehensive list of foods to include in your meals this fall (aim for organic or local) :
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squashes
- Onions and leeks
- Olives, olive oil, and vinegars
- Fermented foods
- Navy beans
- Walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts
- Lemons and limes
- Dark leafy greens: kale, swiss chard, mustard greens
- Herbs and spices: bay leaves, black pepper, chili, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, rosemary
Reducing Stress This Season
This is a season to charge your healing stones with the intentional energy of protection. One of my favorite stones for protection that you can purchase in the Serena Loves shop is malachite. It’s important to charge, or set the intention for the stone, which you can learn more about in this crystal grids blog. To charge a stone, hold it to your heart chakra and speak your intentions.
As a country, we are starting to awaken to the importance of restful sleep as it pertains to our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Simply getting 8 hours in the bed each night does not always equate to a restored and rejuvenated body. You can learn how to truly optimize your sleep in my blog, Sleep 101. Although it may seem like you always have something to do, make sure to put mindful resting on your daily to do list. This may look ike getting better sleep, adopting a meditation practice, picking up a book, or soaking in an epsom salt bath with my Serena Loves candle.
Embrace hygge! Hygge is the mindset of finding comfort, pleasure, and wellbeing in simple things. Those inherently soothing basics that we often overlook like taking a walk in nature, having an honest conversation with a loved one, taking your time and cooking a nourishing meal, napping, reading a book. Gratitude is inherent in this concept. Reap the benefits of gratitude in your life by truly digesting the nourishment that comes from what we need, not what we are lead to believe we need. If that means starting (and sticking to) a gratitude practice this Fall, you should definitely try it! From journaling, to prayer, to serving - connecting your gratitude to a physical practice can change your mental health and physical health. My method, Culinary Alchemy® involves fusing your meals with gratitude to gain the full nutritional benefits.
Fall foods are nutritiously grounding, giving us insight into the importance of grounding ourselves physically with this season as well. Connect to your strong foundations and emotional stability. A couple of ways you can feel more grounded with the changing of seasons are to take more nature walks or try grounding yoga poses.
Harvesting Your Seeds From This Year
It’s time to gather up the “fruits of your labor”, in other words, what you’ve learned this year, mentally and emotionally. In the Spring you planted seeds, whether they were healthy or not. During the summer, they took root and grew every which way. What are you plucking from the vines in the fall? For some of us it’s a stronger version of ourselves, or a new direction in life, or maybe it’s the repercussions of bad decisions. You should also align with the season and write down what you want to let go of. Like the leaves falling from the trees, this is a season also for grief and moving on.
Fall is such a comforting season if you really dive into all it can offer you. From the fall foods you eat to the seasonal practices you begin to incorporate, a new self-care routine is going to be of great service to your overall health. If you’d like to add any particular seasonal self-care ideas for our community, please comment below!
XO - Serena