This week is the end of August. It always makes me a little sad as it signifies the end of the summer for us in Northern Europe. The days are already getting shorter, they'll soon be increasingly colder. It's time to go back to school, back to work, increase the pace, run faster on the daily treadmill…. Are you feeling depressed yet?!
Obviously, it's not my intention to make you feel depressed, but it can't be denied that this is a transitional time for most people, and that will mean all sorts of challenges. My very dear friend, GP and acupuncturist, Dr Carolyn Eddleston, recommends acupuncture for seasonal tuning four times a year for this very reason. I agree that it's a good idea.
What else can you do to minimise the stress and smooth out the passage into Autumn? Here are my top tips:
- Spend as much time as you can outdoors. Human beings, believe it or not, are animals and we belong to nature. Nature owns us, as much as we might resist it! So, stop resisting it and let nature prepare you in her own special way. (I know I sound like a hippy, but it makes sense, doesn't it?)
- Stop eating imported tropical fruit and go for seasonal foods. Why? Because the Earth provides us with the exact nutrients we need to stay in balance. With the warm weather dissipating, we need less cooling foods (fruit and high water veg) and a few more warming foods (root veg, protein). In season right now in the UK and mainland Europe are apricots, blueberries, raspberries, apples, cucumbers, courgettes, french beans, tomatoes, wild mushrooms, crab, sardines, mackerel, beef, rabbit. For the full list, click here. For a list of what's in season right now in North America, click here.
- Give thanks to the summer. (Yeah, I know, I'm being a total hippy today!) Give gratitude to all that the summer has allowed you and provided you with. This will allow you to be conscious of the changing seasons and to be with it. How to do this? Some people like rituals. Some people like to write letters. Others just like to give themselves some time for contemplation and reflection. Do what feels good for you.
- Do an Autumn "Spring clean". In the next few weeks get ready to put away all the summer clothing that you'll no longer need. Unpack the winter woolies and arrange them enticingly. What else do you love to do when it gets cold? Do you need wood for your wood-burning furnace? Do you need to stock up on lovely, spice-scented candles to burn in the evenings? Do you need to freshen up your favourite snuggly blanket? Get it all ready. There's a lot to love about Autumn and Winter after all!
- Make the most of the last days of Summer. Well, it's not over yet! Is there an outdoor play you haven't made time for yet? Have you been meaning to go for a hike while the weather's good? Do you want to squeeze in one more garden party? There's no time like the present!
So, what are you going to do? You can only make progress by taking action. And we are all in this together, ready to support each other, including you. Share your intentions for how you're going to make the perfect transition into Autumn below.