How to Have an Awesome Autumn

Autumn is a time of change and redirecting our energy. The trees are aflame, Honeycrisp apples are in season, and we’re slowing the pace after our busy summers.

In Chinese medicine, autumn is a transition from the energizing season of summer to a more introspective time of the year. Our natural energy begins to decline, moving inward and downward. You may notice that you want to go to bed earlier and spend more time at home—we are consolidating our energy because we don’t have as much to go around.

As the weather become colder and the days grow shorter, you start wearing warmer clothes, drinking warm beverages, and spending less time outside. Autumn is also the season of the Lung, dryness, and letting go of things that no longer benefit us.

If you’re having difficulty adjusting to the latest season change, get in sync with the natural rhythm of the season through diet, exercise, and a little introspection. Here are some suggestions to get you started!

Diet
Eat more apples, pears, and honey. These are all considered moistening fruits in Chinese medicine and can help with dry mouth, skin, and lungs. If you have Dampness though—check out Monday’s post for more on that!—characterized by foggy-headedness and feeling heavy, avoid pears and honey and instead drink more green tea and eat steel-cut oats. A couple of other considerations:

• Think about drinking warmer fluids like herbal tea and eating more soup

• Add warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, ginger, and garlic to your dishes

• Eat root vegetables—local squash and pumpkin are plentiful and provide a more concentrated energy source to keep you warm

It’s important to eat with the seasons and listen to your body’s signals. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself craving junk food or imitation food that will lead you to consume empty calories. Not only will that cause you to gain weight, but it will affect your energy, digestion, and sleep.

Exercise
Strengthen your Lungs by increasing the intensity of your workouts and decreasing the amount of time you spend working out (for example: run shorter distances at faster speeds). Add more strength training to consolidate your energy. Mentally, the focus required during challenging workouts helps us align with the more introspective energy of autumn.

Think About It
Autumn is about letting go, so give yourself a break from your overscheduled calendar. Let go of some social engagements to give yourself time to process and share your thoughts or feelings—either with yourself or others!—about old patterns that are holding you back. Journaling is a great way to explore your relationships and habits and identify old issues that can be released.

If these aren’t enough, acupuncture, herbs, and food therapy can also help you adjust to the season change, especially when you have sinus problems, depression, anxiety, or headaches. Call us if you need help to enjoy the season more—it is certainly one of the most beautiful!