The air has lost its denseness and now there’s a particular crispness to the afternoon breezes. The sun angle has gotten lower and the light has turned slightly golden; these are all signs that autumn is here. In the wellness world, autumn is the perfect time to cleanse your home, body, and life. As with everything nature touches, human bodies also experience cycles of energy. In the spring and early summer, we tend to have bursts of energy and excitement while in the autumn and winter, our energy retreats back within us and we often find ourselves hibernating like little bears in the woods. I know I definitely gain weight like a little bear in the woods, so seeing this as a healthy cycle of seasonal energy feels a lot better – so I’m going with it!
Like with our fall and winter crops, the beginning of autumn signals our personal energy to contract and move inward to nourish our roots. Fall and winter are surrounded by quiet and calm, and this is what our bodies crave as we move closer to the winter solstice. We notice that the foods our farm is providing are now heartier in nature and often require a bit more cooking. Following the energetics of fall on the farm, autumn is the time to gather up the harvest and reflect on the year. After all the hubbub of the summer, it’s time to slow down and take care of you and your family. It’s also a time to gather as a community and share what you have. Not only is gathering and sharing a quaint idea, but it also used to be the only way people could survive the cold, desolate winters in the past. This is why some of our biggest feasting holidays are during the coldest months. So besides sharing the farm’s bounty, how can we stay in line with the energy of the fall and care for ourselves?
- Care for your skin (it’s your largest organ!): As the air around us dries up, many of us experience dry, chapped skin and lips. Moisturizing is key, but don’t forget that moisturizing starts from the inside first! Try adding healthy fats and oils to your diet, while also making sure to get enough hydration through water and broths! Also, it’s important to note that dry, processed foods like crackers, chips, highly processed breads, etc. are extremely drying – so they won’t be any help this time of year.
- Spice it up!: Now is the perfect time of year to add warming spices to your recipes! Rosemary, cinnamon, turmeric, and my favorite ginger.
- Nourish: Most traditional medicine practitioners will advise to stay away from raw salads and smoothies as the days get colder. Instead, opt to nourish your body with soups, stews, and porridge. All of these winter squashes that we have right now are perfect for this – don’t forget to pick up a few at the farm stand this week!
- Cleanse your body, cleanse your life: as we let go of summer and all our favorite busy activities, we should also take stock of our surroundings. Are we trying to jam our social calendars full of clubs, groups, and activities like we did all summer long? If so, now is the perfect time to release one or two activities that can wait until the new year. Let go of activities and objects that aren’t fitting into this new slower phase of the year. If they don’t fit, they weren’t meant to.
- Reflect on all the ways you and your family have grown and changed this year. I like to keep a small notebook with me where I write down small gratitudes every day, which I know sounds cliche, but it’s been really helpful in training my brain to always find the positive. I haven’t done it yet, but I feel like my little gratitude journal could also be used to log daily growth and family life.
- Slow farm walks: Of course I’m biased but walking around the farm, soaking up the last of the year’s sun is a great way to reset and reflect on all the year’s change. Visit your favorite corner of the farm or show a loved one around!
What’s your favorite way to reset and recharge for the fall? Let us know by posting a picture to Facebook or Instagram with #fallonthefarm and tag Woodside Farms! We’d love to see how you and your family are taking care of yourselves this fall!