Living Seasonally: Honoring the Transition to Fall

What is it about that warm pumpkin spice latte?

Why does the process of leaves changing color seem so beautiful?

How come a cozy blanket and a roaring fireplace is such a draw?

The elements of fall (whether natural or societal), can be inspiring, comforting, and joyful – especially in Colorado. It’s almost as though our minds and bodies crave a hike amongst quaking aspens, a mug of hot apple cider, and a good reading nook.

And this intuitive yearning for all things fall?

It may actually be all about energy.

If we consider how the earth changes throughout the year and use nature as our guide, we can see that each season has its own distinct energy:

     Spring = Outward energy; warmer temperatures, blossoming of plants, animals

coming out of hibernation


Summer = Outward energy; long hours of sunlight, production of crops, animals out and about


Fall = Inward energy; plants and leaves die off so energy is stored in the roots,

animals prepare for hibernation for colder months by conserving food and energy


Winter = Inward energy; less daylight, hibernation and sleep for warmth

This organic cycle takes place each year and is one that humans have adapted to throughout time (think planting in the spring for production in summer or harvesting in the fall for canning in winter).

These days, we have the luxury of being able to get much of what we want any time of the year, so for some of us, living seasonally isn’t much more than what we order at our local coffee shop.

However, we can consciously choose to take cues from our natural surroundings and learn to live with the seasons – which can benefit our overall health.

For fall, this means turning our energy inward (just like the earth) in order to:

         – nourish the body, mind, and soul after a busy summer season

             –  conserve energy for shorter days and colder temperatures

             – support immunity

             – live mindfully and create genuine joy

Energy is required for everything we do – and the more we can conserve this season (by keeping our bodies warm, reducing stress, and sleeping well), the healthier we may be able to live.

How can you do this?

Slow Down.

One of the best ways to conserve energy is to simply slow down.

Listen to your mind, your body, and your soul – they can whisper clues to you if you are still enough to hear. Maybe this is the need to lessen a hectic schedule, read more before bed, or take the time to sit in nature and just be.

Be Prepared with Layers.

Always carry an extra layer – even if it’s warm during the day. A shower, cloud cover, wind, and approaching darkness can all make the barometer plummet resulting in a chill.

And in addition to a sweater and/or jacket, keep a scarf, snug hat, and gloves on hand for when you need extra warmth (remember that a cold area on the body requires more energy to warm so make sure hands, feet, neck, and head are toasty, too!).

Consume Warm, Cooked Foods.

Digestion requires energy and raw, cold foods use the most. To conserve energy, transition to cooked, warm foods. This type of eating is gentler on the digestive system and offers more nutrients easily.

Opt for roasted root vegetables, baked fruits, and soups/stews with lean proteins. In addition, swap cold beverages for warmer ones.

Adapt Movement.

Fall is a wonderful time to readjust your movement routine, making way for exercise that serves how you feel this time of year (what brings you more energy rather than depleting it).

When doing so, consider what you love to do and how you can adapt it to less daylight and cooler temperatures with the option of different exercise altogether.

For example, less early morning runs may make time for yoga or rather than an intense workout class, a weekend hike among the changing leaves may invigorate both mind and body.

Reflect and Regroup.

After a busy summer, it can be beneficial for the mind to reflect on accomplishments and goals that you put in place 6 months ago (such as: Was my garden successful? Did I eat lots of fresh produce? Have I enjoyed outdoor activities?)

During reflection, you can decide if you want to shift or adjust any elements in your life as you move into cooler months. Consider what’s working and what’s not – is it manageable or does it need an overhaul? (Keep in mind this is a good discussion to have with kids as well.)

Whether you want to sleep more, reduce sugar intake, or meditate each morning, consider what will bring your energy inward and allow you to connect with yourself, others, and the earth.

Fall is a beautiful time of year. If we don’t consciously take time to live in it, we can find ourselves wondering where it went after that last leaf drops. This year, connect with the earth and live accordingly – you may be surprised at the nourishment you receive when you do.

Is it time for you to reassess health issues?

Are you ready to achieve your wellness goals?

Pain, hormone imbalance, sleep disruptions, digestive upset, low-immunity, and stress can all be addressed at the change of seasons – so let this time of year motivate you to focus on it.

For naturopathic healthcare in the Boulder and greater Denver metro area, please call me at (720) 340-0193 or click here to send me a message.