Autumn (or fall) has been creeping over my part of the world’s landscape for a few weeks, but now it’s truly set itself down; berries and flame-hued leaves decorate everywhere. Chilly mornings and evenings are most definitely here. The suncream, sandals and light trousers have been packed away, the dressing-gowns and hats brought out. We’ve been draught-proofing our home, have put up our nesting box for little birds and have now sowed under cover crops we’ve been sowing out in the open. Excitingly, our squash and sweetcorn are nearly ready for harvesting (yay!), and more than one blackberry crumble has been scoffed down (not all in one go, I hasten to add!)
I’m noticing the changing in myself too; mood swings, poor digestion, skin troubles, feeling kind of irritable at nothing and everything, fancying certain things (soup, soup, soup!) and not fancying others. Many people find that at the change of seasons, their body can throw a bit of a wobbly as they readjust to the different temperature, pace, weather, light and whatever else the shift may bring for them. Holistic health practitioners often advise a detox at this time, based on guidance from traditions such as Ayurveda. Detoxing isn’t something I’m very good at but my body’s giving me a bit of a helping hand right now in that I’m just not fancying coffee and very sweet things.
An excuse of mine is that a full-on detox may leave me a bit too tired for full-time parenting. However, my plan for the next few days is to:
- drink plenty of fluids, (not coffee!), particularly warm water with lemon and ginger.
- eat warm, nourishing, easy-to-digest foods like soups, dals and kitcheree (I like Ayurvedic Yogi’s fab recipe. See it here).
- eat very little dairy, wheat and soya. These are foods I can find hard to digest. Many other people do too – and may have additional foods that their bodies seem to have to work a bit harder to process. I’d say it would be best to reduce or omit any such foods during a time of detoxing or “being gentle on” the body. Red meat and alcohol aren’t very gentle on the body generally – I don’t have these anyway.
- grains like oats, rice and quinoa are gentler on my digestion. Oat milk is yummy and is helpfully quite widely available these days in supermarkets and the like.
- try to ground myself to counteract the change. In Ayurveda, this would be increasing Kapha (water and earth) energy to balance the vata (space and air) energy abundant at this time of transition. Grounding activities include yoga, meditation, and gentle walks – if possible, in a forest or somewhere that’s really showcasing Autumn’s gorgeousness. But even a stroll round my local inner city streets and parks provides a lot of seasonal beauty. For me, some crafts I’m very familiar with are grounding too.
- I particularly enjoy yoga poses that involve touching the ground, such as forward bends, at this time.
- regular body brushing and a little self massage, ideally with warm oil.
- soak seeds and nuts overnight.
- eat lots of veggies. I do anyway, but green vegetables in particular are super-nutritious.
- Take daily wheatgrass (or spirulina) for a nutrient boost – if I wasn’t breastfeeding, I’d probably take Triphala too as a gentle laxative and gut balancer.
In spite of the health niggles, i love this beautiful time of year; so many people I know pick Autumn as their favourite season. As the equinox approaches, I’m collating inspiring images on Pinterest and flicking through lovely books for ideas for our celebrations. Marian Green and Emma Restell-Orr are long-term favourites of mine. Since the shift in focus that becoming a family has brought, I’m loving “Festivals, Family and Food” by Diana Carey and Judy Large, as well as “The Rhythm of Family” by Amanda Blake Soule.
Wishing you balance and beauty in all that you are gathering. ♥