If you’ve noticed a drop in your energy over the past few weeks you aren’t alone. It’s not just the cooler temperatures that make us want to curl up in bed with a book all day. In Traditional Chinese Medicine autumn is recognized as a time for gathering. The time of day associated with autumn is evening - a time of reflection. The element associated with autumn is Metal which is associated with the urge to interact with others but the need to maintain distance.
Rather than fight against what is natural, embrace this beautiful season and be in harmony with the earth and its energy. Take a step back. This is a time to nurture yourself and prepare for winter. You know exactly what you need. If you are feeling drawn to being quiet and reflective, honor your desires and make the most of them.
Following are ways to make the most autumn energy. I find all of these things effortless and easy to do when I don’t feel like doing much at all. Even on days where you have to go on with a busy life, incorporate at least a few of these into your day to bring harmony and balance.
Meditate - Take time to be still. Shut your eyes and go within. This can be as formal or as informal as you'd like. You can do something structured like focus on your 3rd eye point while breathing or just shut your eyes and allow your thoughts to soften. Be in the moment and feel yourself rooted in the ground. Start with 3 minutes and build up from there.
Journal - Get in touch with yourself through writing. This can be in the form of notes to yourself or free-flow writing. Write whatever comes to mind even if it wouldn’t make sense to anyone else.
Read - You may find yourself gravitating to self-help books or books on natural living. Go with it. This is an effort to learn new things to build a more harmonious life. Infuse yourself with positivity by reading things that will enlighten you.
Breathe - In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Metal Element (autumn) corresponds to the lungs. Breathing deeply and having a flow of energy through the lungs allows us to bring in positive life force or, Qi, while allowing us to get rid of what we don't need on the exhale. Take at least a few minutes a day to focus on your breath. Before bed or first thing in the morning are perfect times. Keep it simple but give it your focus. I have been taking time to breath in the shower every morning, usually with Rotenburo Air Shower Mochi. The white pine, hemlock spruce, balsam fir, and frankincense mixed with the steam all encourage deep breathing.
Bathe - Submerse yourself in healing, warm water and instantly experience your worries float away. Feel your body and emotions release and take this special time to be with yourself. Let your mind drift to wherever it may. Bathing is one of the most effortless ways to stop the chatter of the mind. Just let go and be. My favorite bath salts right now are Amayori's new Rotenburo Air Luxury Bath Salts. I always come out of the bath feeling rejuvenated.
Cook - Soup, squash, root vegetables - all of the wonderful foods we crave in autumn have their purpose. It has to do with balance. The energy of the earth begins to go deeper into its roots at this time of year which is why we gravitate towards root vegetables. That is where energy is. Not much smells better than savory food on a brisk autumn night. The scent and taste of delicious herbs and vegetables brings comfort.
Tea – Discover new teas or rediscover old favorites. You may find your taste leaning more towards richer teas and those with warming herbs. Again, there is a reason for this. I will be sharing some of my autumn favorites in an upcoming journal entry.
Water - Water holds life. Drinking it, bathing in it, watching it. Water will always nurture us when we need it. As the air becomes drier be sure to hydrate more often. This will keep your energy up and your skin glowing.
Enjoy this magical time of reflection. I hope this inspires you to go with the flow and enjoy slowing down this autumn. Don’t feel guilt for not being busy. Nurturing yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself and those you love.