Seasonal living: Taking cues from nature for optimal wellness
In the modern world, we have the luxury of living in similar ways season to season, regardless of the time of year.
We can pick up a pint of strawberries in winter just as we can in summer. Sleep patterns can stay the same all year. And exercise in the gym can continue at a pleasant 70 degrees whether it’s cold out or warm.
In fact, an entire year can be quite homogenous.
However, for thousands of years, humans have acknowledged and respected the seasons, living accordingly. Humankind is still here today much in thanks to the connection our ancestors had to the earth and its cycles.
We are genetically programmed to ebb and flow with the energy of each season, so conscious living in this day and age may benefit our bodies and minds – even if it’s not a necessity like it once was.
If you’re ready to reconnect to the organic patterns of Mother Earth, look to nature for its cues.
Whether dramatic or faint, distinct seasonal changes happen throughout the entire world. Temperatures rise and fall, daylight increases and then diminishes, plants bloom and die off and animals are active then hibernate.
These signs can help us humans adapt in our own way to each season.
Coming out of hibernation, spring is a time of outward energy leading to rebirth. Trees and plants come to life, animals stir and wake, daylight slowly increases, and temperatures begin to warm.
During this time of year:
- make goals for the next six months
- plant seeds in your garden
- take your movement outside
- consume fresh, colorful vegetables like greens, radishes, asparagus, and leeks
- clean and declutter your environment
Springtime can motivate the renewal of body and mind, so use this inspiration mindfully.
Filled with sunshine, long days, and a bounty of color, the earth is in full swing come summer.
Connect with this season by:
- living in nature as much as possible (such as eating outdoors)
- consuming a wide variety of cool and crisp harvested fruits and vegetables
- engaging in outdoor activities and hobbies
- taking a break (or an afternoon nap) to beat the heat
Let summer’s energy fill you with the vitality to explore and enjoy.
This slowing time of year brings energy inward. The busyness of summer begins to dwindle and preparation for colder months becomes apparent with shorter days, cooler temperatures, and harvests from deep within the soil.
To adapt to fall:
- take measures to slow a hectic schedule
- eat a diet of warm, cooked foods such as roasted root vegetables and cozy soups and stews
- up your vitamin D intake with foods (and supplements, if needed)
- adjust your bedtime to allow for more sleep
- reconnect with others
- reflect on accomplishments and goals from the last six months, reassess what is working and what is not in your life, and make changes if necessary
Transition to fall with determination to nourish, comfort, and soothe the body and mind.
Cold temperatures and long nights make hibernation seem quite appealing. Energy is stored in the earth, and rest and recovery are needed for the renewal process coming in the spring.
- move gently (such as with yoga and stretching)
- increase your vitamin C for immunity intake with citrus fruits
- keep your entire body warm with hats, gloves, scarves, boots, and jackets
- drink warm beverages
- calm your mind and body with reading, meditation, journaling, etc.
Take this time of year to restore yourself for busy seasons ahead.
Living seasonally is about more than just donning sweaters in autumn and swimsuits in summer. Energy from Mother Earth throughout the year can guide your internal needs if you listen closely.
Try to make purposeful adaptations – whether big or small – to reconnect yourself to this beautiful organic cycle.