I don't know whether it has suddenly become a lot cooler and noticeably autumnal, or if this is normal and just a shock to the system after such a glorious summer.
Either way, I now find myself looking forward to woolly jumpers, making soup and taking autumnal walks. I have even spent some time today foraging for elderberries - my annual attempt at making enough flu-busting elderberry cordial to see my family through the winter.
This is definitely my most favourite time of the year, especially here in Harrogate.
I didn't always enjoy my school years, yet I still see September as a time to start something new - to create new visions, learn a new skill, make time for a hobby.
But...I can also struggle with this transition in to the darker months - with health and moods.
According to Ayurveda, the sister-science to yoga most diseases are born during the change of seasons. A time when we are left feeling unbalanced.
Here are my suggestions to see you through this most beautiful time, whilst keeping a healthy mind and body:
A New Routine - As I dropped my children back at school this morning I realised that the often-lazy days of the school summer holidays are over. A routine is in order for me to balance out my work, household chores...and much needed 'me-time'. Always factor in time for yourself.
Bringing the Outdoors In - As the colours begin to change I am looking at ways to bring the autumnal reds, golds and oranges in to the house. I have a vase of sunflowers and am looking forward to getting crafty and making a seasonal wreath as the leaves start to fall. Houseplants are known to improve the air quality within the house. Whilst it will be tempting to start turning the heating on and shutting ourselves in, think about ways that you can bring some natural touches to your home.
Autumnal Clean - We have (maybe!) a Spring Clean, so why not make time to declutter, rearrange some furniture (I find this so satisfying!) and clean ahead of those months when you just want to cosy down. I am looking at ways to reduce the unnecessary chemicals and cupboard full of varying cleaning products in plastic bottles. Think minimal waste and zero nasties.
Seasonal Foods - In times gone by we would be enjoying the harvested fruits and vegetables, and looking at ways to preserve them for the months ahead. I have just discovered jam making and fermented foods is the latest buzz with anyone eating for maximum health benefits. I find there is nothing more satisfying than a homemade soup or curry bubbling away in the pan or slow cooker. Look for what is in season and grown locally - bonus points if you have grown it yourself! Think nourishing and wholesome.
Quiet Time - We are usually so outwardly focused so make a little time to channel your energy inwards. In preparation for the Autumnal Equinox, it is customary for those following Pagan beliefs to take this time to look back and reflect on what you have achieved, gained, even the crops that you have grown throughout the year so far.
How do you find time just to sit...to breath...to be?
Maybe a hot bath, a walk in the countryside, or starting a regular meditation practise.
I have just been introduced to an amazing App - Insight Timer (available on IOS and Android). This is a free resource with literally thousands of guided meditations, music, sounds. There really is nothing to be scared of.
You can join me later this month for an afternoon stroll, with some yoga and meditation along the way...and a cuppa and cake!
I am also starting up a pay-as-you-feel meditation group on Monday mornings. Easy breathing and mindfulness techniques to set you up well for the week, or be inspired to begin your own regular practise.
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Wishing you a happy and healthy month ahead,