Are you currently feeling sleepier, introspective, tired and almost ready to hibernate? If yes, welcome into the autumn/winter energy: a moment of the year where our body is screaming to slow down, restore and retreat.
One of the tools that I used to reconnect women with the wisdom of their body after thousands of years of Patriarchy – is menstrual cycle awareness as an instrument to re-learn from each inner season of the menstrual cycle.
Today I want to use the outer seasons, a scientific and a spiritual approach as an anchor of wisdom and a way to reconnect with our cyclical way of living and become aware of what happens on a physical, emotional and spiritual level during autumn & winter.
At the end you will find practical ways to honor the darkest moment of the year and re-learn how-to live-in sync with Nature, especially if you are struggling to slow down or putting even more on the plate to fight against this sleepiness and mood swings, we all feel.
How do Autumn/Winter influence us?
The seasonal shifts and the cooler temperatures and darker days of autumn and winter can leave you feeling less energetic, impact your sleep and make you feel down. In a world and a society that is obsessed with spring and summer-like types of energy, we can struggle to fully welcome the downtime of these seasons. Before diving deep into why it’s important to welcome any part of the inner and outer cycle, let’s observe a scientific and spiritual approach to this time of the year, where the hours of darkness are longer than the one of light.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes. After the Autumn’s Equinox days began to become shorter and shorter and this can cause an unbalance in our Circadian Rhythm causing different alterations in a physiological way: mood swing and effects our awake/mood cycle.
Mood Swings: day has been shown with a lower production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and contribute to our wellbeing and happiness. This can cause mood swings and the famous seasonal depression.
Sleep-wake cycle is affected: changes in the light-darkness cycle also the production of melatonin in our brain. Melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain’s pineal gland, is often known as the “sleep hormone” or the “darkness hormone.” Melatonin influences sleep by sending a signal to your brain that it is time for rest. This signal helps initiate your body’s physiological preparations for sleep. Then it’s completely normal to feel more tired, sleepy and moody if, already at 4pm, we start to experience darkness outside.
Retreat inward – Honour your inner Temple
During this time of the year it is absolutely natural to feel more introspective and reflective. As we read before, as our Circadian cycle has been affected from the alteration of the light-darkness cycle, our body starts to slow down and craves for more sleep, rest and coziness. Our gaze shifts inward, opening up the door of our inner landscape and universe. Imagine that you are closing the door of the physical world and making more space for your emotional and spiritual universe.
If we look closely at the old pagan traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, we can see a common pattern: this is the time to stop physical activities and retreat inside warm houses. It is also a moment when the veil with the Otherworld becomes thinner and thinner – giving us the possibility to communicate with spirits. No matter if you believe in the world of the spirits or not, we can read it with a metaphorical perspective of retreating in, facing our inner world – with its own darkness- and ultimately working on ourselves.
One of the most important Gaelic pagan festivities held on November 1st, Samhain (read Sauin) used to mark the end of the harvest season and beginning of Winter or darker-half of the year: this celebration was something in between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. And as you can guess, Halloween has its origin in this pagan festivity. Wars were stopped, people used to gather and celebrate their dead ancestors. At Samhain the division between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through. Food was prepared for the living and the dead, and people used to wear customs to scar the harmful spirits.
As I said before, I invite you to read about spirits and the Otherworld as a metaphor for your inner universe and landscape – as a way to connect to something greater than you.
Living in sync with the seasons
We regularly forget that we are cyclical beings and we live in cycle: life is not linear, it’s cyclical. For me personally, learning how to follow my inner and outer cycles has helped me tremendously in recovering from burn outs and sustaining Balance in the long term. Month after month, cycle after cycle I am learning how to honor and respect each phase as sacred and essential to my wellbeing, and the one of the Planet.
As I promised, I prepared a list down to earth and/or spiritual practices and rituals to integrate in your daily life during Winter & Autumn to live in sync and honor this cycle of the year.
- Slow your body down Retreat inward
Give your body what it is craving for: sleep, rest, restoration and a nice and cozy time. Something that I learned about a cyclical way of living is that the more I fight against the types of energy I find in a particular phase, the more I create struggle, difficulties and a useless extra tension.
If you want some guidance sign up to the 4 Evening Yoga Practices to Rest & Restore
As you will slow down your body, you will notice how naturally you can shift your gaze inward and connect to something deeper and greater than you.
- Journal and work on yourself
As we are naturally more reflective, ride the waves of your introspection to work on yourself as a personal development moment. It’s not about becoming a polish and perfect version of ourselves (spoiler alert – it doesn’t exist) but it’s more about becoming human. Use the coziness of rainy days to take your pen and let it all out. Make space letting go of something you don’t need to plant something new for seeds.
- Self-Love and Soothing Practices
If you are suffering from a mild seasonal depression, find a way to daily nourish yourself and your cup (to balance the production of serotonin). A radical and grounded self-love and care practice can support you in your mood swings and unbalance.
If you are looking for inspirations click here to read the article: https://corpogiardino.ch/fill-up-your-cup-first-replenish-your-physical-emotional-and-mental-energy/
- Enjoy cooking and eating warm food.
First of all, warm foods are cozy, nourishing and another form of self-love. Cold food can slow our digestive function making ourselves even more sleepy. I highly suggest you check the amazing platform of PickUpLime, for vegan and super cozy inspirations: https://www.pickuplimes.com
The next Event
In order to honour this time of the year, give the body & mind time to rest and learn how to befriend these resting phases – I decided to organise a free 3 days Yoga Circle Event – Press Pause & Embrace Rest for strong and passion driven women who want to restore body&mind and learn how to befriend and embrace the pauses and resting phases, as empowering moment of our feminine cyclical way of living.
This free Event is for you if you feel:
Ready to reclaim time for you, your wellbeing and your health.
Ready to stop making excuses on how you can’t prioritise yourself and your own physical, mental and emotional needs.
Ready to let go the idea that you need to be always productive and at the top of your energy.
Ready to reconnect and reclaim your feminine cyclical way of living: an intuitive, sacred and wise approach to Life.
Ready to use the wisdom of your body and Menstrual Cycle to reconnect to your power, to make an impact on Planet Earth and share your skills and leadership contributing to our society and environment.
If this resonates with you click HERE to sign up and learn more about
with grace and gratitude