Boost your wellbeing this autumn
Jo Fellows’ top tips to help you rebalance and rejuvenate with the change of season
As the leaves change colour and the trees let them go, we’re reminded that nature has a plan for healthy living. As the leaves fall they create fertile ground that gives potential for growth come spring. It’s a good time to practice this letting go in our lives too, so that we can embrace exciting new beginnings.
Our breath is a constant reminder to be aware of that which needs to be released and let go. Take a moment to sit quietly and notice your own breath – as you breathe in sense the cool air on your nostrils. Feel that breath flow down to your lower belly as your tummy rises. Then as you exhale release the tummy back towards the spine and notice warm air leave your nostrils. Pay attention to the quality of your breath – smooth inhales and smooth exhales will help your body to release and relax.
With the busyness of summer over, now is the perfect time to declutter. Start by going through everything you own and ask yourself whether items are useful or if they bring joy. If the answer is no, then recycle or give them away so that someone else can enjoy them. Once only your most useful or joy-giving belongings remain, put them where they’re accessible, rather than squirrelling them away. The impact of living in an organised environment will help you feel more in control.
Mainstream scientific studies prove that nature heals. Connecting to our natural environment in natural light has immediate positive effects on stress, depression, blood pressure and our immune system. So, whenever possible, get outdoors and use all your senses to appreciate the wilder side of nature that autumn has to offer. Being in touch with the seasons will help you be more mindful of the present, and you’ll become more resilient to the ups and downs of life.
It’s probably safe to say that you’re aware that exercising’s good for you. But this word may be weighed down with feelings of obligation. So, instead, think of it as just movement. This is one of your body’s basic functions, not only improving mood, but also helping us to combat stress, anxiety and depression. It helps to keep us healthy, helps make bones strong and improves cognitive performance. You don’t need to go for a marathon run, everyday movement such as dancing, gardening or taking up a new class such as yoga will all help. Just keep moving!
Too little sleep can cause high blood pressure, a tendency to be overweight and emotional imbalances. One reason why people find they can’t sleep is because they’re worrying about things. Frustratingly, this then turns into worry about not getting enough sleep! Sleep is the ultimate way of releasing and letting go. While we sleep, our systems cleanse and organise our brains. If you’re having difficulty with sleep, try the breathing technique above or counting your breaths.
Aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fewer sugary processed foods. Nature provides the right foods at the right times, so try to eat seasonal, locallygrown produce wherever possible. Foods that will nourish and care for our bodies in autumn include root vegetables, green leafy vegetables, autumn fruits, legumes and whole grains.
As the days get shorter, considering taking a Vitamin D supplement. This vitamin is produced by your skin’s exposure to sunshine, and is essential for healthy strong bones, immunity and to stop us from feeling fatigued.