The Dark Half of the Year (autumn and winter) is hands down my favorite. Autumn, (and spring for my friends in the southern hemisphere) offers an in-between phase of preparation for the more “extreme” seasons – winter and summer, respectively. If the Wheel of the Year were likened to moon phases, autumn would be the waning phase before winter’s new moon and spring would be the waxing phase before summer’s full expression. Just as in those lunar phases each month, we are impacted. And since the Earth is doing the shifting (as opposed to cosmic influences above), the impacts on us are even more palpable.
Ways to Support Yourself & Receive the Most From This Magical Time
Lifestyle: This is a time for reflection and introspection on all that has come to fruition this year. Just as the Earth is giving of Her bounty, we too are harvesting what we have sown since the beginning of the year. This is a time to begin to wind down and focus inward. This isn’t a time for a jam-packed social calendar.
It’s no secret that many people find themselves with colds and flus during fall and that doesn’t need to be the case! The integrity of our nervous systems are the answer to most (if not all) of our health issues.
How can you support yourself during this time? Time for some radical self-responsibility and self-inquiry here! Stress management is key for a healthy nervous system and to provide feelings of grounding during fall’s naturally airy, ethereal energies.
Feeling your feelings and keeping the emotional body fluid prevents stagnation and further taxation of the nervous system. Journaling, creative expression, talking with close friends and loved ones, crying, dancing, yelling, swaddling yourself, etc. are all excellent ways to support your emotional body.
Meditation is key right now (I mean, it really is all year and now especially so) specifically for supporting the harvest from within, finding grounding and calm during the transition from so much outward energy in the summer, and to support the immune system.
Choosing restorative movement over higher intensity sessions preserves the energy that’s needed to cope with the transition.
Hands-on self-healing is a fast, effective, and pleasurable way to calm the system. Check out this guided video I made for you!
Prioritizing adequate rest (notice the desire to sleep a bit more during this time and honor it) is essential.
Maintaining regular meal times supports blood sugar balance, energy levels, and digestion, and of course, all of this soothes the nervous system.
Syncing with the sun as much as possible (i.e. really winding down at sunset and engaging in relaxing, nourishing activities from then until bedtime and then being up before sunrise) is another way to stay grounded and increase your resiliency.
Movement: Focus on restorative exercises (like trading in the more high-intensity stuff that might have felt freaking amazing a few months ago for some walking and more yoga classes). Walking is such an underrated form of movement and is truly the kindest and most effective. It’s been shown to support the body through reducing stress hormones, lowering the risk of osteoporosis, and doing it outdoors has even more amazing benefits! If you’re lucky enough to live in a place with those gorgeous fall leaves, get outside!
Yin yoga is also a beautiful practice for this time. If live classes aren’t convenient for you, this YouTube channel offers some amazing content!
Food: Simply, eat seasonally all the time and you can’t go wrong. To say Nature is smart is such an understatement that it’s almost disrespectful. We have all that we need to support our bodies and what they are undergoing as we mirror the Earth at any given moment. Period. And, fall foods are simply AMAZING.
Enjoy all the root vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips, turnips, carrots, beets, etc.; deep, mineral-rich, life-giving greens like collards, arugula, and kale; Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, cranberries, grapes, pomegranates, cauliflower, and more! Mmmmm! To check what’s in season locally for you, this is a great resource.
By focusing on whole foods, you’re already giving your immune system a big boost. Focus on eating as much color as you can (let the rainbow be your guide) and on choosing foods that feel amazing – yes, that FEEL amazing. Not emotionally, but physically. What gives you vibrant, magnetic vitality and nourishment so that your sacred vessel is thoroughly sated and in a state of elevated wellness?
Herbs such as lemon balm and passionflower can offer relaxation and better sleep for when we’ve pushed it too much and the delicate fall nervous system isn’t happy. For deeper rejuvenation and restoration, those beautiful adaptogens such as ashwagandha, mucuna, reishi mushrooms, and holy basil are lovely (under the guidance of an expert who’s working directly with you). Warming spices for cooking such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger are lovely for body and spirit.
And of course, there are so many plant essences and gem elixirs to support you right now. Tree essences offer exceptional feelings of grounding and rooting to a scattered system. I especially love red cedar for her deep feelings of safety and rest, magnolia for her ability to open us up to communing with higher realms while staying grounded, and blue spruce for restoring a tired, overworked, overtaxed system.
Enjoy this beautiful transition and all it teaches us. Earth is our mirror and we are all in this spirally dance of life, death, birth, spring, summer, fall, winter. Embrace the changes and dance the dance. Honor your needs during this time and all that you are noticing. Don’t miss a potent opportunity for reflection and growth, restoration and preparation. I’d love to hear from you! Please share with me and let me know how I may support you.
I’m Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am Holistic Life Coach + Catalyst + Intuitive + Writer on a mission to identify and transmute the roots of the shame story that’s running your life so you can live your fullest, most authentic incarnation in accordance with your soul’s sacred purpose. If you feel called to work together, please schedule a complimentary, magical Core Wound Alchemy Session.