It is my favorite time of year! The calendar's best 'quarter' starts Oct 1, 2022, when the last month's spooky season, fall foliage, and the holidays. Is anyone else with me?
As the seasons shift, so does our body. It's imperative to understand that with the autumnal equinox, we are moving towards a slower pace, a darker period, and a time for more reflection than action. If we are constantly in a state of "go" without rest, ultimately our body and mind pay the price.
Therefore, I am very conscious of this change. I've already started to implement a few "Fall" practices to optimize my hormone health.
It's wild to think that 3 months ago we had a 7 day "Light Hygiene Challenge" in which everyone was encouraged to get outside as soon as they woke up, take a picture, and send it to their IG story. I was outside from the 5-6:30 hour each morning, saving the time stamp, and basking in the waking sunlight.
My wake-up time has shifted to reflect the delayed appearance of sunlight.
Full stop. Not anymore! The sun peeks at 6:45 am these days in the northern hemisphere in New York and she's only sleeping in later and later. The major shift in my sleeping pattern is I have accepted that I won't be up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5 am anymore. My wake-up time has shifted to reflect the delayed appearance of sunlight. Starting this week, I am "sleeping in" to 6 am and will continue this through Spring. Light hygiene is essential, and natural blue light is what wakes us up in the morning. If I don't get the "real" dose of blue light, I am adding stress to the body, forcing wakeness too early, and consuming more caffeine to compensate.
Dave Matthews Band and County Boating Music is no longer on my playlist. These songs evoke excitement and high energy. It's just not the season anymore.
... the slower-paced, mellow music actually can help calm nerves, and release that excess summer energy...
This might seems silly BUT the slower-paced mellow music actually can help calm nerves, and release that excess summer energy. It mentally changes the pace you want to move at. I choose indy and alternative beats instead, which encompass the gray skies and colorful leaves into a "mood". If you're looking for some chill fall music for yoga (perfectly timed for a 45-minute flow!), journalling, or general consumption, build this sample playlist below:
Or listen to the pre-built playlist for you on Spotify. Link below:
As the nights get longer, and the days get colder, it's critical to take time for movement. During the summer there are more active hours in the day. Think: you easily meet up for dinner downtown, go for a walk, stand at outdoor concerts, attend festivals, county fairs, swim in the lake, pond, or ocean, the list is endless. Did your step count go up? Mine sure did.
All this light and activity is AMAZING for our hormones. However, ensuring this level of activity doesn't completely drop off is critical as we step into fall. Some one-time and weekly activities for fall include:
I'm also going to make yoga classes and the gym a priority at a minimum of once a week. My personal schedule will look something like this:
SUN - 30 min gym and Yang/Yin Yoga
TUES - 45 min gym class
WED - Apple Picking After Work
SAT - 30 min gym before teaching my Saturday Vinyasa
This balance of fall movement and physical exercise will be enough until winter hits.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
All the best,
Sam, Lunar Cycle Life