by Sara Avant Stover
I don’t know about you, but autumn is one of my all-time favorite times of the year. There’s just something about her crisp winds, golden light, red foliage, and first days of school that gives me a fresh, buzzing, alive feeling inside.
I love bringing out cuddly winter sweaters, wooly scarves, and cozy tights. Long walks through crinkly leaves remind me of romping in leaf piles on my way home from school as a little girl.
The magic of the season extends deeper than our wardrobes, though (!), for during these crucial months, nature prepares for her long winter’s rest and teaches us to do the same. It is time to gather, store, organize, and wind down from the momentum of summer and the relentless forward momentum that modern living usually demands.
Maybe you’re feeling this now in your life: do you find yourself organizing closets, drawers, and files? Signing up for new courses—eager to learn and launch new projects?
All of this is wonderful and natural, but we mustn’t lose site that this is the time of year to SLOW DOWN rather than REV UP. Yes, there’s enthusiasm to give one final push forward before the New Year; but taking steps now to safeguard your health (and sanity) take root deeply at this time and will serve you during the upcoming wintery weather change, holiday stress, and ensuing overindulgence.
As women, our bodies and our environment are one and the same—we are such sensitive creatures, regardless of whether or not we acknowledge this truth. When we don’t take care during this time of year you might feel yourself becoming very anxious and fearful, and perhaps also be more prone to colds and flues.
So the best way to harmonize your body with your surroundings is to become more discerning about what you eat. Since the spring and autumn are two of the best times of year to do a seasonal cleanse (one of the best ways I know of to really boost your energy), consider one of the many cleansing options that are available on the market*.
Whether or not your chose to detox, gravitate towards foods that align your body’s tissues to your surrounding environment. Those staples that best strengthen the immune system for the upcoming winter include: root vegetables, cranberries, dates, figs, cabbage, brown rice, apples, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Warm stews, soups, and whole grains are perfect.
Finally, take some time to write in your journal to reflect upon this season.
Get cozy on the couch with a blanket and a cup of ginger tea or (my favorite) hot cinnamon-spiced apple cider and ponder the following:
My favorite autumn memories are…(consider foods, activities, feelings from childhood).
My intention for this season is… (consider goals relating to your body, relationships, career, spiritual growth, and creativity).
My favorite ways to rest and rejuvenate are….
Those things in my life (consider external and internal influences) that prevent me from taking care of myself in the way that I most long to are…
So amidst the enthusiasm to run into the holidays with arms wide open, remember to keep your feet tethered to the earth and your heart reflectively listening inwards. This will keep you looking AND feeling as fresh, bright, and alive as the changing earth around you.
*For my free audio download, “6 Secrets for a Seasonal Detox,” to support you at this time, visit here
Sara Avant Stover, founder of The Way of the Happy Woman™, helps modern women reconcile femininity with worldly success to retrieve true and lasting personal happiness—beyond body size, relationships, and careers –by connecting with their inner radiance through yoga, meditation, and balanced living. To date, Sara has taught some 3,000 student in over a dozen different countries. She is a prolific writer whose articles have been featured in half a dozen magazines including Yoga Journal, Yogi Time Business, Pilates Style, The Huffington Post, Natural Solutions, and Fit Yoga. Sara is now based in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her website http://www.thewayofthehappywoman.com