Falling into… yourself
The tides are changing, the leaves are falling, and the cool air is rolling in. This must only mean one thing that autumn is upon us. The Equinox, which occurred on September 23rd, marked the balance between light and dark and entering into a new fresh season. Mother Nature is shedding her layers and preparing for the cold wintery months that lie ahead. As she sheds her layers, we increase ours to embrace and nurture our precious bodies. We are blessed with this season as it allows us to reflect on past months and to shift our attention forward into a period of hibernation and giving us the opportunity to truly nurture ourselves.
Fall is a personal favourite of mine. It is time to wind down after summertime shenanigans, make delicious home cooked meals with an abundant of vegetables, sleep longer, take hot baths and most importantly taking some much needed downtime for yourself.
It’s time to stop, breathe in that fresh air and to feel the earth beneath you as she provides a grounding sensation. Growing up on Vancouver Island, I’ve learned to embrace the falling rain as it creates the abundance of greenery that surrounds us. During this time of the year, I enjoy more hikes in the forest; spending time by the crashing waves and feeling the raindrops drip down my skin. Nature offers relaxation, increases physical and mental well-being and provides healing for the soul.
Another beautiful thing about fall is the wealth of vegetables that flourish during this time. We get squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, carrots, chard, eggplant, mushroom, green beans, onions, peppers, pumpkins and the list goes on. Dust off the slow cooker, look up some delicious homemade soup recipes, take out the spices and get creative with you meals. Some of my personal favourite recipes are spaghetti squash spaghetti. In this recipe spaghetti squash replaces the traditional noodles offering a healthier alternative. The sauce is filled with vegetables, such as mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, kale and carrots and chickpeas are used to replace ground beef. Roasted vegetables is another personal favourite of mine, using yams, parsnips, carrots, beets and brussels sprouts with black beans and a pesto sauce to throw in the mix is a tasty treat. The last thing for your taste buds is roasted squash, carrot and ginger soup sprinkled with roasted pumpkin seeds. Cooking is good for the soul and making meals from scratch, with fresh vegetables and with love with be sure to fuel your body with the nutrients it craves.
The more we fuel our bodies the more time is needed to rest and digest. I’ve already noticed the change in my sleeping patterns. It’s practically a struggle to get out a bed early and I hit the snooze button a couple extra times. Let’s be honest, what our body needs our body gets. If more sleep is needed, then so be it. In order to allow ourselves more time to sleep, going to bed earlier is ideal. Especially as the sun sets earlier then so do we. I enjoy taking a nice hot bath, reading a book and having a cup of chamomile tea to soothe and preparing my body for rest.
Meditation and exercise are things our body craves as it increases our physical and mental well-being. Meditation is also a tool to combat sickness, fatigue and stress and is a form of self-love. Personally I find it difficult to meditate and do yoga in the summer months as my days are fully packed with work and outdoor activities. During the fall season I make more time to meditate in the mornings or the evenings and attempt a daily yoga practice or opting for a hike. I find meditation is of particular importance during the fall and winter as we are more prone to depression during the grey months. My body craves silence and stillness and meditation allows me to get in touch with my deepest being. The greatest gift you can give your mind is the gift of silence and stillness and the greatest gift for the body is the gift of fluid movement. Try and meditate for a few minutes in the morning or the evening and do a few yoga poses to rejuvenate your body.
Fall is a time to reconnect with yourself and your roots. It’s an opportunity to devote time to you after a busy and fun-filled summer. It’s a time to nurture your body, mind and soul. Play in nature, eat delicious food, sleep, meditate, drink tea, and love yourself.
By, Laura Chartrand