Are you as excited that it’s fall as I am? Don’t get me wrong, I love summer too. Hello?!? You’re talking about a native So. Cal. girl here. But ever since I moved to Colorado over 4 years ago, I’ve really been digging ALL the seasons.
The change in seasons is a great reminder of how life happens in cycles. We can see ebbs and flows in all sizes – daily in our circadian rhythms and the rise and set of the sun and tides, monthly in women’s menstruation and the moon phases and yearly in our change in seasons.
We do often talk about the change in seasons, especially as it relates to the weather. But we don’t often talk about the seasonal cycles and how they can really be a great signal to start living more intuitively and rhythmically with Mother Earth. If that all sounds really woo-woo out-there-for-you, don’t worry I am going to ground this down fast and I promise it’s all going to make a lot of sense.
In the future, I would love to talk more about seasonal changes in a broader sense, but today I want to focus on transitioning from the Summer to Autumn. Not only because it’s where we are right now, but also because it’s probably my favorite seasonal time.
In order to, talk about what moving from Summer to Fall means, we must first talk about what summer signifies. The long and hot days of Summer is our time to be outside, socialize and spend more time with our loved ones and kids that are out of school. It’s usually the time to travel, stay up late and read all those books! It’s the time we Do ALL the things – concerts, hikes, vacations, late night dinners in the backyard.
So, when fall comes, in addition to going back to school, I often hear how tired we all are. And that makes perfect sense! Summer is a time of doing, and in doing all that we do, we get tired. We’ve slept less because we’re out enjoying the warm, long days. When fall comes with it’s colder and shorter days, it’s so welcomed. It means it’s time to switch things up. The shorter and colder days give us a literal excuse to stay inside more, to rest and sleep more.
Fall is a transitional season, meaning moving from one extreme time to another extreme time. Example here being moving from the long, hot days of Summer to the short, cold days of Winter. Just like the transition of seasons, we too can use this opportunity to transition our habits and mind. This is a great time to move from the expanding time of summer to contract and internalize more.
So, what does this mean in terms of wellness?
This is a time to move from all the fresh fruits and veggies (more carb-heavy) we’ve come to love seeing at the farmers markets to a higher fat and protein (paleo-type) diet. This also means less fresh fruit and cold salads and smoothies to more warming root veggies, dark leafy greens, apples, pears and citrus. The summer produce tends to be more carb-centric foods are great for all the activity that we tend to do in the long summer months. It’s not coincidence that in the cold short days of winter, we need less of those carbs and they are less available, because we are mostly indoors, and not as active as we are in summer.
In the fall and winter months, because of the cold, short days, we tend to not be outside as much as the summer. We are active in shorter bursts, doing things like chopping wood, skiing, building snowmen. In general, we not training for that marathon or triathlon, quite as much as we were in spring and summer. Fall is a great time to recommit to the gym, lifting weights and doing short-burst, more high-intensity training. And the perfect diet for this looks more like a building diet, consistent of higher fat and protein.
This can be a no-brainer: shorter days mean less actual light means more time for sleep. And after all the expanding activity of summer, aren’t we all ready for a rest? This is a great time to give yourself the excuse (if you need one) for more sleep or at least more rest and “you“ time.
Fall is a time of death, the leaves on trees are dying, our gardens are slowly fading, the light outside is withering. What comes with death? Greif. But this grieving process doesn’t have to be a negative one. Grieving can be thought of simply as letting go and making room for new things to come in. It is a time of healing and reminding ourselves of what’s important. This process is not coincidentally in time for our actual Thanksgiving, but also a broader and more personal time of gratitude.
A SEASONAL CHALLENGE
One of the big things I talk about in all my seasonal Detox & Wellness Reset books is the idea of picking 1 or 2 things that you wish to change up or try in this transitional time of Fall. One of my favorite is taking time to look at how you lived in summer and how you might still be living. How can you move more into the fall seasons with your diet, sleep and/or movement? Don’t stress about changing all of it. Just like the change in seasons, move gradual. What is one impactful thing you can do to shift from summer to fall? If nothing is screaming out at you right now, maybe take some time, get quiet or take a gentle walk outside or in nature and listen to your inner voice. It’ll tell you what it needs.
I know not everyone reading this thinks they have seasons to live by. And I know the closer you live closer to the equator the less dramatic these changes will be. When I was living in Los Angeles I didn’t realize how fortunate and rare it was to have farmers markets and fresh produce year-round. But they still have some cold days and of course shorter days too. So, just because you don’t get snow on the ground like we do here in Colorado, don’t brush this time off. You can still live seasonally!
And if you’d like more ideas, tips and tricks, go check out my 3-Day Fall Detox & Wellness Reset! I’ve got you covered with recipes, a 3-day meal plan, shopping list, more challenge ideas, morning and evening daily routine ideas, and more!
What are your favorite things to switch up or do in Fall?