So the Autumn Equinox fell in the early hours of this morning (September 23 2022).  In the Chinese Solar Terms, this actually marks the half way point of autumn so we’re well into the season.  But outside the window, what we think of as autumn is only just starting (oh and yes a little inside too with the annual spider invasion – check out one of my fave cartoons about this).

I know a lot of people struggle with the encroaching dark nights, the colder weather and a looming winter.  But I relish this time of year.  That’s partly because I have a lot of the Metal (related to autumn) in my Five Element acupuncture constitution so it really resonates with me.  But it’s also because my many years as an acupuncturist taught me to really appreciate the benefits of all the seasons, and value the gifts of each one.  And Autumn is a powerhouse, packed with benefits from a coaching point of view too.

Autumn is all about clearing out what we don’t need, making space to gather what we do.  It’s about taking in and letting go; inhalation, inspiration and elimination.  And it’s about tuning into what’s really going on and accessing the clarity, the quality, and the precious gems within.

Autumn is a time of preparation.  Think of the tree shedding its leaves – conserving energy and focusing all effort internally, whilst making room for new growth.  And those leaves become mulch and vital nutrients which the tree absorbs to power all that comes next.  Think of the rituals of previous generations from this time of year – preserving, canning, pickling, salting to create stores.  And of course, cleansing that larder first.

So it’s the perfect time to cleanse, calm and breathe – really breath.  To take in the nourishment, enrichment and inspiration – physically and emotionally – to give you the sustenance, care, quality and clarity you need.  To begin to move focus to the inner you, the true you, and what’s really going on.  And gently, compassionately, start to clean and clear what’s holding you back or bogging you down.  This is the time to detox your life on every level – perhaps with some “clean” eating (think warm broths, not cold smoothies), perhaps with a social media timeline cleanse, perhaps a goodbye to a toxic friend or letting go of past grievances.

It’s the time to embrace the wonderful gifts of autumn – inhalation, inspiration, clarity, quality, clarity, enrichment, ritual, release, letting go.

Not to put too fine a point on it, you’re cutting through the crap to find the jewels within.

So here’s some autumn self-care tips, based on the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Autumn Self-Care Tips:

  • Stay wrapped up against the cold and wind (the spearhead of disease in Chinese medicine)
  • Do an autumn clean (it’s a far better time than spring) – declutter your environment and don’t forget tech (inboxes, desktops, notifications, SM “friends”)

  • Eat warm, seasonal foods – think soups and stews, not salads and smoothies
  • Declutter and simplify your life and routines – aim to release what’s not working for you

  • Tweak your exercise routine to include some “working in”, not just “working out”
  • Create time for inner reflection and deep breathing
  • Drink plenty of water – autumn is a time of dryness
  • Try to let go of old hurts, resentments, prejudices and jealousies
  • Gently start to detox your life. What’s holding you back?  What’s weighing you down or polluting you?  What’s making life harder than it needs be?  Think beliefs, behaviours, situations, environment, people – the works!

And of course, I appreciate that this stuff isn’t easy.  But it’s such a foundational building block for transformation.

We often focus solely on growth, movement, change and the external glitter of goals and achievements. But the stability, the energy, the knowledge and self awareness for that to be achievable, meaningful and long-lasting comes from the gifts of the Metal and Water Elements (related to essence of autumn and winter). It’s here that we need to go deep, to work within, to access the heart of the matter, to nurture, to process and release so that we can move forward in a safe and sustainable way.

This is exactly what I do with my clients and if you want some help getting organised, to declutter or detox your life on any level and shift what’s holding you back, then get in touch.