• Christina Mendelson

Wellness for the Transition into Autumn

We have reached the Autumn Equinox and the official shift into this beautiful time of year. The change of the season is always an opportunity to take a good look at one’s self-care practices and adjust as needed and so as to align with the season ahead. As business owners in midst of this ongoing pandemic, we are being asked to shift our ways of taking care of ourselves moment-by-moment so as to sustain momentum in our businesses with the ever-changing terrain of the year. Throwing children at home instead of in the normal school routine, this shift into Autumn is like nothing we have ever experienced before.

As a long time wellness practitioner, body-centered coach, and single mom, I am adept in the world of wellness, yet this time has certainly presented an interesting twist to holistic healing and means of remaining healthy and balanced. I find day-by-day that it truly does require a sense of curiosity, flexibility, and a willingness to try some new ways. While I certainly do not have the magic answer, what I can offer is the possibility of remaining embodied and aligned with oneself as we pivot into the beautiful season of Autumn towards the darker, colder days.

There are so many ways of approaching seasonal wellness. To me, we must meet each turn of the season with a sense of openness around what aspects of ourselves are needing attention and to be tended to. As my life and work are about holistic healing, taking stock of our minds, our bodies, our hearts, our spirits, and our souls are all equally important. Below are some suggestions to create optimal wellness during this transitional time of year. I have also included some potential journaling questions and/or questions to contemplate as we collectively veer towards Autumn with intention and presence.

  • Surrender: Fall is all about letting go and this year’s events have brought this to the next level. When we are able to surrender to what is and let go of that which is getting in our way of living life awake, we open up new possibilities of living and being. Questions to contemplate: What do you need and want to let go of moving into this new season? What can you surrender to as we mark this passage into Fall?

  • Nourish: Eating seasonally is a beautiful way of honoring the season as well as boosting your health. Our bodies naturally crave foods that are in season as well as ways of preparing them that are more aligned with this time of year. Autumn brings with it root vegetables and squashes in particular. It is a great time of year to transition into cooked foods, soups, roasted veggies, and other nutrient dense dishes. Get creative with your cooking and tune into what is in season in your part of the country. Questions to contemplate: What is your body craving as the temperatures start dropping? What foods feel nourishing to your body and soul as we make this transition? What do you need to do for yourself and your family to create more nutrition and balance in your food choices?

  • Movement: Moving out of the high energy of Summer into the more grounding energy of Autumn, our movement needs to shift to meet this time. It is critical to keep our bodies moving; however, it is important to assess what feels most aligned for this time of year and your bodies varying needs. Autumn tends to be such a beautiful time of year for long walks, deep yoga practices, and other meditative movement modalities. Remembering that we are preparing for the Winter months so making sure that we are honoring our bodies and their needs for this preparation. Questions to contemplate: What is your body asking for during these chillier and shorter days? More rest? More movement? What feels good for your body to do during this time? What modifications to your movement and exercise do you feel like you need coming into this new season?

  • Clarify: Transitioning into a new season is always an opportunity to clarify our direction in life. It is a golden opportunity to ground ourselves into a new state of being with intention and presence. In order to do that we must clarify what exactly it is we want to bring into our lives and be intentional in our direction. Questions to contemplate: What is working in my life? What needs modification What are your goals and intentions coming into this new season? What needs to be shifted on a fundamental level? What are your intentions in moving forward? What do you want to create in your life, your home, your business, your relationships in this next season?

  • Embrace: The beginning of Autumn, while beautiful, also signifies the descent into the colder, darker time of the year which for so many can be a source of angst and anxiety. This year has its own flavor as we have already been isolated for the past 6 months. What I find is that the more that I can embrace the moment and what is unfolding, the more peaceful and balanced I can remain. It is when we resist the changes that are swirling that we can become unhealthy in our functioning. The practices of mindfulness and meditation are a beautiful means to connect to that sense of peace with what is. They provide the platform for an association to the present moment assisting us in embracing the whole of our lives. Questions to contemplate: What practices can I bring into my day-to-day life to access the present moment? What am I willing to do in order to fully embrace the unfolding of these times? What can I do to strengthen my system so as to meet these days ahead with a sense of acceptance?

  • Open: As we make our official transition into Autumn, it very helpful to open our senses to this change of season. To really draw in the beauty around us through our vision of the colors, to notice the smells of the season, to feel in our bodies what it feels like to be wrapping ourselves in more clothing, and to overall breathe in the season. When we are able to embody presence in the moments of these transitions of life, we are better able to meet the changes with the whole of who we are. Questions to contemplate: What can I do in my life to bring in a sense of openness as this transition unfolds (naming the amount of uncertainty that is prevalent)? What practices can I bring into my life to dive deeper into myself with a semblance of curiosity and presence? It is also helpful to name what you see, feel, hear, smell as a way to orient to the present moment and really breathe it all in.

This time of year naturally beckons us all into a deeper space within ourselves so as to prepare for the colder and darker months ahead. May we choose to do so with consciousness and presence of our individual processes and honor our unique selves in this dance that we are all in both internally and externally. Many blessings on this transition!

- Written By Alison Rothman MA CYT

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