For the first time (in a long time) I’m excited for the cold seasons. I feel almost titillated at the idea of spending the next two seasons cozying up and resting. In the past I’ve hated the idea of the cold seasons. I even spent about a decade escaping autumn/winter to warmer, sunnier climates. But this year I’m eager for the darker months – seeing them as a “reset” of sorts. Each season I tune into my intuition, asking my mind, body and soul what it needs me to do to support it through the next season. Here are some things I’m doing this autumn to support my mind, body, and soul.
As a reminder: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be! Any claims in this article are based on my personal experience and research. Please read my full medical disclaimer before engaging with my content, suggestions or anecdotes. Also, as a reminder, this post contains affiliate links to certain products and I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you make a purchase based off of my suggestions.
Things I’m Doing This Autumn to Support my Mind, Body and Soul
Things I’m Doing this Autumn to Support my Mind
I’m a firm believer that if you can control your thoughts – you can control your world. I may not have the ability to consistently stick to doing everything on this list for my mind, body and soul throughout the autumn season. But, at the very least, if I can keep my mind strong – I won’t beat myself up over any shortcomings and slip into a seasonal depression.
It might seem purposeless to list “staying positive” as something I’m doing this autumn season but I find that intention is half of the battle. If I set the intention to remain positive – it will be easier to stay positive. (Even after the last leaf falls and the temps dip below freezing.) There is good and bad in nearly everything but sticking to a positive mindset makes the good, better and the seemingly bad, not that bad at all. Positive affirmations are one of the ways I plan on sticking to a positive mindset.
Reducing Screen Time
I’ve always noticed a drastic increase in my overall wellbeing when I reduce my screen time to less than 2 hours a day. However, this autumn season I’m kicking it up a notch am going to try only using my phone when the sun is up. I imagine this will be a really interesting test of my mental endurance when the sun starts to set around 4:30pm. It’s a challenge I’m up for nonetheless!
Starting my days with at least an hour or two screen free is one of eight small-ish changes that have had a BIG impact on my mental health and well-being. I’m excited to see what happens when I slow down with screens even further.
Making my Bedroom a “No Screen Zone”
Piggybacking off of reducing my daily screen time – I’m also making my bedroom a “no screen zone”. This one is fairly easy because I don’t have a TV in my bedroom and haven’t used my phone in my bedroom in ages. However, I do enjoy scrolling Pinterest or catching up on some TV shows on my iPad before bed. This is a habit I’m looking to break. Enter: my “no screen zone” rule for the bedroom to support my mind, body, and soul this autumn.
Reading, via Candlelight, Before Bed
I started reading, via candlelight, before bed last autumn. I can’t wait to pick this habit back up this autumn! Candlelight, like the light that will be emitting from the beeswax candles I ordered, produces infrared light. NASA states that, “The warmer the object, the more infrared radiation it emits.” Based off of that science, it’s safe to say that the flame from my bedside candles will be emitting infrared light as opposed to the blue light that’s emitted from LED lights, screens and devices.
The evidence of artificial light harming our overall health and wellbeing is growing. In the interim, all I can do is try to do things that support healing instead of harming. This is why I’m vowing to read by candlelight at night.
Reading by candlelight last autumn/winter lulled me into really deep, restful sleep. I also find that when I read by lamp-light I’m able to stay up longer, reading 40-50 pages or more before bed. However, when I read by candlelight (which supports my natural circadian rhythm) my eyes start to get heavy and sleepy after about 10 pages.
Weekly “Phone Free” Days
During the COVID lockdowns I found myself turning to my phone more and more. I had a grotesque screen time report one week, stating that I was averaging over 9 hours a day of screen time. I decided I needed to make a change. I cut myself off from my phone for at least one full day per week.
For me, there is a direct line between my overall mental well-being and my screen time use. The more I use my phone, the more my mental health suffers. The less I use my phone, the less my mental health suffers.
I recently remembered how good it felt to be detached from my phone (typically on Sunday). This led to my decision to do a phone free day per week during the autumn (and likely winter) season.
When I moved to Italy in 2021 I sold or gave away a large majority of my things. Alas, I am a victim of consumerism and I still have many other things. Throughout the months of the autumn season I’m making it a goal of mine to donate 465 items per month.
I know, that sounds batshit.
However, I’m going to do it slowly. Each day I will put aside an amount of things that correlates to the date. For example, on the 1st – I’ll put one thing aside. On the 2nd – I’ll put two things aside. On the 3rd – I’ll put three things aside. And so on and so on. At the end of the month it will add up to 465 items!
These items will be sporadic and random. Regardless of how motley the items will be at the end of the each day, it will still feel good to have freed up some more space in my home and life. Some of the items I collected the first week of September were
•a coffee mug
•two pairs of shoes
•three portable phone chargers (do I really need five of them?)
You might enjoy some of my other articles:
•8 Small-ish Changes that Had BIG Impacts on my Well-Being and Mental Health
•How To Effectively Use Affirmations
•How A Simple Gratitude Practice Changed my Life
•Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Change Their Life
Things I’m Doing This Autumn to Support my Mind, Body and Soul
Things I’m Doing this Autumn to Support my Body
Making changes in my lifestyle to support my bodily health has been something I’ve been committed to for a few years now. This upcoming autumn season I’m tweaking some of the things I have been doing to support my body. I’m hoping to be more mindful of not only supporting my body but supporting my body specifically through this season. Below are some of the things I’m doing this autumn to support my body.
Drinking More Warm Raw Milk
I plan to drink warm raw milk in the morning but especially before bed. During the summer I leaned back off of milk – leaning more into teas and coconut water. But as autumn is rolling through I plan to work warm mugs of raw milk back into my habit.
Sometimes I mix the milk with a little bit of raw butter, sometimes with honey and cinnamon, most often with a bit of vanilla extract! Other times I add some cacao powder or nutmeg, cardamom and ginger. Each time it’s a bit different – but it’s always delicious.
90-Minute Hot Baths
I first discovered the concept of “lymphatic drainage baths” from an account I follow on Twitter. If you want to read the science behind who/what/why 90-minute baths you can read the thread he posted here. I started toying around with 90-minutes (or more) in the hot springs when I was living in Tuscany and always found that, at the very least, I just feel better after spending that time in hot water, sweating it out.
I am choosing to commit to the 90-minute hot baths at least twice a week through autumn. Not because it supports lymphatic drainage or because of the health benefits (although those are two huge bonuses) but simply because its warm and toasty. My body temp rises in the hot bath and stays up for quite some time after exiting the water. That raise in body temp is a welcome relief on a chilly autumn night.
To elevate my bathing experience I also add dead-sea magnesium flakes into the water as well as top the water off with an organic dried flower (roses, lavender, chamomile or even blue lotus, depending on my mood). I also make it a vibe by lighting candles and setting it up nicely – just to slow down and add a bit more beauty into my life.
Here are all the goodies I jazz my baths up with:
One of the things I was always excited to escape the autumn/winter seasons for was my skin. My skin would get so dry in the autumn and winter seasons. It would literally hurt to feel the cold air on my face. To combat this: I’ve started to eliminate chemical heavy skincare products from my routine and started to implement nutrient dense, antioxidant rich, organic skincare into my regiment.
Here’s a link to my favorite face mask at the moment, it’s exfoliating, moisturizing, brightening, tightening and best of all? It’s only four ingredients making it super easy to make and depending where you source the products, easy to make 100% organic.
Red Light Therapy
I spoke earlier about the benefits of the red light thats emitted from candles and why I’m choosing to read by candlelight at night. To support my mind, body and soul this autumn, I’m taking it a step further. As the chilly autumn evenings and nights set in and the sun begins to set earlier and earlier – I’m going to be using a red-light device.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are heaps of medical benefits for our skin when using a red light therapy device inducing :
•improve wound healing
•reduce stretch marks
•reduce wrinkles, fine lines and age spots
•improve facial texture
•improve psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema
•improve sun-damaged skin
•improve hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia
I don’t have a ton of skin issues but I’m not opposed to reducing the signs of fine lines, age spots and wrinkles! However, it is the positive mental benefits of red light therapy that really enticed me. This study found that red light therapy may help improve depression in as quickly as two weeks after just one single treatment!
While I haven’t had any seasonal depression set in.. I hope that adding in some red light therapy might help to combat it before it’s something to worry about. The greatest part is that with modern technology – we can bring red light therapy right into our homes. I found a few different red light therapy devices and ultimately decided to go with this one but I’m listing them all below for you to check out.
Covering my Midriff + Meridians
I heard this advice intuitively last winter but moving into autumn – I’m picking it up earlier. The meridians are different parts of our body that are known as “energetic passageways”. As warm blooded humans – our meridians work best when they’re warm. Covering up these meridians to ensure they stay warm keeps the cold air from stagnating them.
The four main meridians I’m concerned with covering are my ankles, midriff, neck and head. I used to walk outside with ankle socks in the cold weather. This allowed the meridian in my ankles to get chilled. This autumn I’ll be wearing extra thick socks, instead. I’ll also wear a tank top, tucked into my pants, under my shirt to ensure my midriff meridian is covered. The same for a scarf and a hat for my neck and head.
Taking a Qi Tincture Daily
Qi means “life force energy” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This Qi flows within our bodies and is responsible for harmony and balance. When our Qi is strong – we will feel healthy and full of energy. When our Qi is weak – we will feel disempowered, fragile, and lackluster. In order to support my own Qi – I’ll be taking a Qi Tincture daily (with my morning ginger tea).
A Qi tincture can help us to produce internal heat – regulating our body temperature for our bodily functions to thrive. It can also help to maintain warm, cozy limbs – something we need a bit of extra support with in the colder months.
Sleeping in Socks
Piggybacking off of covering my midriff and meridians and taking Qi… I plan on sleeping in socks this autumn. Warm hands and feet can help with sleep onset! Sleeping in socks can also help to regulate body temperature and enhance blood circulation.
Using the Sauna More
Over the summer I kind of fell off of my sauna habit. Using the sauna is one of the things that helped me to cure my asthma! I’m excited to get back into the habit of using the sauna this autumn! From the stress and muscle tension reduction to the improved circulation, respiratory benefits and improved improved skin health – the benefits of using the sauna are well worth creating the habit. However, I plan on using it just to say nice and warm.🥰
Eating With The Season
I’ve been diving into the study of Ayurvedic health and lifestyles the last few years. One of the things that I’ve learned from Ayurveda is how important it is to eat with the seasons. At the most basic level, it makes total sense: the things that are in season are the things that were perfectly designed by nature to support us through the seasons that we’re currently in.
What does that look like? Trading berries (which are typically in season in the summer) for apples (which are in season in the autumn). Trading zucchini (a summer veggie) for autumn root vegetables and squashes.
Over the last couple of years I’ve really loved digging into recipe free cooking. Rolling with the seasonal bounty and creating delicious meals based on what is in season. I’ve had SO MANY PEOPLE ask me where I learned to cook but mostly it’s all intuitive! Intuitive eating has really helped to change my relationship with food, eating and my body.
Starting this autumn I’m going to be hosting quarterly, seasonal, FREE cooking classes on zoom!
Sitting in the Afternoon Sun
As much as I’m enjoying the addition of red light therapy in my life.. there’s nothing quite as nice as some afternoon sun. There’s no shortage of studies that suggest that the sun is beneficial to our overall health.
“Sunlight is essential for human health and well-being. The health benefits of sunlight include generating the production of vitamin D, supporting bone health, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease, and promoting good mental health.”
The autumn sun is certainly not as strong as the summer sun. However, I notice that my face still adopts a bit of a tan from enjoying 30-40 minutes of sun between 12pm-2pm. At the very least, having a bit of sun-kissed color on my face can help brighten my mood. This makes “afternoon sun” something that can support not only my body but also my mind and ultimately soul this autumn.
Not Skipping Breakfast
For nearly a decade and a half I woke up, had a cup (or two) of coffee and started my day, almost always sipping breakfast. I found that I didn’t even have an appetite until the mid-late afternoon, after having been up for 8+ hours.
But, I also had gut health issues, sleeping troubles, weight struggles, depressive episodes and fluctuating moods. The more I’ve learned about optimal function of the human body – the more I learn about the importance of eating breakfast (ideally within an hour of waking up).
I’ve been kicking it with breakfast for nearly two years and I have never felt better in my body than I do now. I used to wake up almost nauseous at the idea of food but now I typically wake up hungry.
Towards the end of the summer I found it easy to slip off of my routine of waking up and eating breakfast. One of the commitments I’m making to support my body this autumn is to make sure I sit down for a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
Yoga: Every. Damn. Day.
I’ve toyed around with the physical yoga practice, asana, for about six to seven years, practicing here and there. Attending a sporadic retreat that had a focus on yoga as movement for the body. However, during COVID I really committed to a yoga practice and during the summer of 2021 I attended an Amalfi Coast Retreat and since practicing with Chynna (a Holistic Nurse and yoga teacher on the retreat) I’ve felt so comfortable and confident in my asana practice.
Since then, if I skip a day where I don’t do some form of asana practice: my body suffers. Throughout the autumn season, one of the things I have to do to support my body is a physical asana practice: daily.
Not Wearing Polish on my Toes
When this insight dropped in I resisted it so hard. I LOVE PEDICURES! Getting my fingers and toes polished is one of my favorite weekly routines. While the insight did say that I can still get my pedicure – it was very clear that I need to leave my toenails unlacquered this autumn season. When I started to think about it.. while my fingernails often have sporadic days (or even weeks when I was traveling often) where they are unpolished… my toes really don’t. I think my toes have been polished for at least a decade straight (with the only exception being the hour or so during my pedicure). So, while I don’t particularly like this guidance… I’m going to follow it regardless.
Things I’m Doing this Autumn Season to Support my Soul
Soul work is something that I’ve been doing for about seven-eight years now. This is the second year that I’m catering my soul work to align with the seasons. Supporting my soul looks different every day but there are also a few daily practices that I tune into that really help. One of my favorite things about supporting the soul is that it’s usually free of any cost, because most of the things that support the soul are simple pleasures. Below are some of the things that I’m doing this autumn to support my soul.
Taking a Break from Certain Plant Medicines
If you now me, you know I’m a fan of some Mary Jane (marijuana) and also advocate for responsible psilocybin (magic mushroom) use. But, to support my soul this autumn season – I’m going to be taking a break from any plant medicine that takes me out of myself (such as marijuana and mushrooms).
The message I’ve been hearing really loudly is that I have everything I need right now and that any of these certain types of plant medicines will just take me away from myself, my path and the work that I’m doing right now.
Leaning on Different Plant Medicines
While I’m feeling called away from certain plant medicines that procure a high in the mind (crown). I’m also feeling called to plant medicines that can have a more grounding effect. I’ve participated in a few cacao ceremonies and always loved the grounding effects from ceremonial grade cacao. I’m excited to lean more on cacao as one of the things I’m doing to support my soul this autumn.
Practicing Daily Gratitude
Daily morning gratitude is something that is a part of my everyday morning routine. I swear by gratitude for maintaining a positive outlook. As the colder weather starts to set in: I plan on switching my gratitude into a nightly practice. Instead of jotting down a list of things I’m grateful for, as I have in the morning… I’m going to wind down and reflect on the day I had. I plan to jot down a few things from that day that I’m grateful for.
I find that when you look for reasons to be grateful – they appear. I’m hoping that this night time gratitude practice will help me to shift any negative perspectives I developed over the day and help me to go to sleep with a grateful mind and heart.
Spending More Time in Nature
Getting my feet on the ground, meditating outside, practicing yoga in the grass, even taking a simple walk in the park. connecting with nature always feels good on a deeper soul level. I know that when December, January, February and even March approach – it will likely be too cold to enjoy much time outside and in nature. So, as autumn rolls through I’m working on spending more time in nature. Even if that means sitting in my backyard in the afternoon sun to get some work done, instead of sitting inside.
Letting Go with More Ease
I mentioned that I’ll be physically decluttering as well as letting go of plant medicines. As autumn rolls around I plan on taking some inspiration from Mother Nature and letting go with ease. I plan to use the trees and leaves as a source of strength within. The way that the trees so effortlessly let go of the leaves is really motivating and I hope to use it as a catalyst to adopt a more effortless approach for letting go in my own life.
Watching More Sunrises and Sunsets
Watching the sun rise or set is something that makes me smile on the inside. I feel so much joy from watching the sky turn all different hues of colors as the sun comes up or goes down for the day. Finding joy in simple pleasures is something that really supports my soul growth. I’m making it a goal of mine to watch more sunrises and sunsets throughout the the autumn season.
I know that going into this upcoming autumn and winter season – I’m more prepared with healthy habits to fight the seasonal depression I’ve suffered from in the past. I’m excited to see how the above things I’m going to do this autumn to support my mind, body and soul pan out.
Are there any specific things you’re planning to do to support your mind, body and soul this autumn season?