Fall is a time of transition and harvest. The hot summer days have cooled, the leaves have fallen and we may be reaching for scarves and layers as our bodies crave for more warmth.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fall is associated with the Metal element and the Lungs and Large Intestine. The fundamental emotions of the season are: sadness and grief. Thus, making Metal’s power -- in its season -- the ability to breathe in, let go and keep only what is needed to move forward through the colder months.
The balance of yin and yang is the basis of all concepts in TCM. This means sadness and grief are also seen as important and healthy emotions. There is sadness and grief in letting go, but there is also gratitude and beauty in the process. Just like a moulting insect shedding its skin as part of its growth. Every year, Fall is the season that allows us to do the same. It is a time to stop and reflect on the lessons learned, share our gratitude and let go of the parts that may weigh us down before the Yin season of Winter.
Here are 5 ways to support yourself through the Fall:
Breathe. Utilize the Lung system to take deeper breaths and reach every part of your body with oxygen. Whether you are focusing on a breathing practice or simply taking intentional deep breaths, every exhale allows you to let go of what is not serving you. Make each one count!
Purge. Physically or emotionally. Perhaps this is a good time to purge your closet again or go through that one random drawer that keeps piling up. Or maybe, it’s the social media friends list that needs a refresh. Surround yourself with energy that uplifts you.
Warm. As we shift into colder weather, we also need to adjust to more warming foods. Soups and stews as an easy transition, as well as, orange and yellow Fall vegetables like pumpkin and squash. We can also use herbs and spices to warm our food and drinks - think chai lattes and all the yummy spices in it.
Sleep. Following the natural rhythms of the sun, the shorter days are a cue from Mother Nature to turn in earlier and give our bodies much deserved rest. Sleep is an important part of immune boosting as it allows our organ systems the time to recharge individually.
Reflect. What have the previous months taught you thus far? What lessons are you thankful for? Which parts can you let go of to avoid feeling heavier this Winter?
This may be a short list but the individual work may be challenging. Be easy on yourselves. It's been a heavy year at best. Find what works for you and find the support you need to end the year strong.