Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. It is the season where the temperature becomes cooler after a long summer.
Tree-lined streets become awash with a carpet of orange, red and brown, fallen leaves crunching underfoot.
Households prepare for the season by adorning their doorways with an array of brightly coloured pumpkins.
Flavours such as pumpkin spice and spiced pumpkin lattés are added to the menus in restaurants and coffee shops.
Autumn is a season of transition and a season of change, leading from the brightness and warmth of summer to the darkness and cold of winter.
It is a season full of richness and new beginnings.
Autumn represents harvest, abundance and meaningful transitions.
In nature, animals prepare for the impending winter by building nests, gathering food and nuts to store, or by migrating to a warmer climate.
Humans need to adapt to seasonal shifts as they arrive also. It is important to align our mental and physical activity to the season we are in.
Autumn is a time when we wind down and prepare for winter.
It is a season of "letting go", like the trees let go their leaves in Autumn, then rest for winter in order to repair and recover come spring. Autumn teaches us the beauty of letting go.
Autumn, like spring, is a great time to de-clutter and reorganise our space. Doing a clear-out of our wardrobes and letting go the clothes we don't wear anymore can be cleansing (and also allows room in our wardrobe for warm, cosy winter clothes!).
Autumn governs organisation, setting limits and protecting boundaries. It is a good idea to start projects that cultivate your mind and soul.
Autumn is the season for practicing mindfulness and building resilience.
The lungs, which are associated with autumn, are responsible for clear-thinking and communication, openness to new ideas, positive self-image and the ability to relax.
Psychologists say that the feelings that often crop up in Autumn stem from our discomfort with change.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Autumn is the season of dryness, contraction and moving inwards.
It is the season that corresponds to the lung and large intestine.
During Autumn, our lungs are more susceptible to respiratory issues. If you are prone to lung weaknesses, like sinus congestion, asthma or skin conditions like eczema, they can worsen in autumn.
This is a great time to get acupuncture treatments so as to heal the lungs before illness takes hold.
As the temperature starts to drop in autumn, we need to start eating more warming foods like soups, stews and roasts. Longer cooking times and heartier ingredients are recommended in autumn to nourish the body.
Eat plenty of seasonal, pungent foods, such as watercress, cabbage, turnip, ginger, horseradish, pepper, cinnamon, chilli, onions and garlic as they will help to build "defensive Qi", strengthen the immune system and disperse mucus.
Eat sweet potato, broccoli, beetroot, pumpkin, seaweed and coconut/olive and sesame oils to moisten the lungs.
Eat warming foods such as lentils, kidney beans, apples, blackberries, plums, pears,
bay leaves, cardamon, chives, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, leek, oregano, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme and turmeric to nourish and warm the body.
Eat sour foods such as grapefruit, lemon, pickle and apple, which help preserve fluids and moisten the body.
Increase your intake of foods high in vitamin C and antioxidants, such as berries and kiwis.
Incorporate zinc-rich foods into your diet, such as seafood and nuts, which are beneficial for numerous immune functions.
Eat foods that are in season only. As the seasons change around the world, so does the type of produce that grows locally. Food that is picked locally, and in season, will be much fresher and tastier.
Also, when food has to travel a long distance, it comes with a massive carbon footprint.
Avoid eating too much dairy, wheat, meat, sugar, fried foods and bananas, as they can cause dampness within the body, particularly in the lungs.
Avoid eating cold, raw foods such as salads and iced drinks, as they introduce cold into the digestive system, which is associated with the lungs.
Taking walks outside in nature in autumn is extremely beneficial.
However, as daylight hours start to decrease, it is important to consider vitamin D supplementation over the autumn and winter months.
While outside, wrapped up snugly, breathe deeply and with intention and.....enjoy!!🍁🍂