Why does the transition from summer to autumn often feel stressful? Well, the summer can be a busy time – those blissful longer days allow more time to be social, being outdoors for longer and generally more active. I don’t know about you, but just thinking of summer conjures up images of fun, holidays and the people I love. However, as the summer fun comes to an end, we can find that we are actually pretty exhausted! Squeezing as much as possible into the summer months alongside work and family can leave us feeling drained.
As autumn approaches, we might find that we are in denial; after all, the arrival of autumn means that winter is fast approaching. But this time of year does not need to be regarded with dread – its slower pace with cosy evenings and longer nights can feel comforting and safe. It’s a great time to rest and re-group – and take a good look at our physical and mental health to ensure that we are well prepared for the change in season.
The work we put in to prepare the body and mind for these seasonal changes is just as, if not more significant than the change itself, especially with regards to our health. If we take care to anticipate the colds and other bugs that often meet us around this time, more of the season can be spent enjoying the calmer, more chilled days with a renewed sense of wellbeing.
Here are a few short ways you can begin preparing yourself right away:
Strengthen your defences
Without a doubt, the first thing you should be thinking about at this time of year is supporting your immune system – remember that over 70% of your immunity is located in your gut. This means not only looking at your diet, sleep, and exercise routine in the autumn, but also taking targeted supplements proven to help keep bugs and viruses at bay.
I always recommend a Charcoal cleanse four times per annum, which you can read more about here, in September, December, March and June to clear the way for the change in diet and to enable immune-supporting supplements like Live Bacteria probiotics, Digestive Enzymes and Omega 3s to stand the best chance of being absorbed and utilised by the cells.
Adjust your diet
Warming, nourishing foods like thick soups, stews, and broths are integral to maintaining wellness throughout the cooler months. Reintroducing hot cereals for breakfast, roasted vegetables for lunch and robust, hearty stews for dinner can all be great ways to align yourself with seasonal eating. Be sure to include herbs and spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic to encourage internal warmth. A cup of our Tummy Tea is perfect for this.
While internal warmth is important for strength, be sure to also supplement your diet with plenty of moistening foods such as seaweed, mushrooms, apples, pears, nuts, and dairy products to ensure an adequate amount of bodily moisture. Remember, balance is key.
Take care of your skin
The falling temperatures can often make our skin look and feel dry and undernourished. Make sure you are maintaining moisture levels in your skin, not only externally through a good hydrating face cream to protect against dry or extreme weather, but also internally by drinking plenty of water and consuming plenty of good fats, such as oily fish, avocados and nuts. For anyone who isn’t eating oily fish at least three times weekly, I recommend supplementing with an Omega 3 capsule.
Take time to rest
As the season of hibernation approaches, use autumn as the gentle transition towards it. After all the activities of summer, this is a time to bring the pace of life to a really manageable, easy-going way of being. Notice the new patterns and rhythms of nature and follow its lead. Embrace a few early nights during the week. Spend a day with a book on your sofa listening to your favourite music. When it comes to rest, every little bit counts so even taking 10 minutes to enjoy a long bath with a few drops of your favourite essential oils (mine are basil and ylang ylang) and some Epsom salts, or sit mindfully, or even just daydream, with your morning tea can make all the difference.
Embrace the transition
We need only to look around us to find ways to embrace the transitions between seasons. Just as the trees are shedding their leaves, so too should we let go of what no longer serves or nourishes us in order to create more space for the things that do. Take a step back, approach work more slowly and intentionally, spend more time communing with loved ones, and most importantly, take care of yourself.
If you have any questions about a digestive and gut health issue or would like to know about a targeted supplement protocol, please get in touch.