Happy Autumnal Equinox! Alright, summer is officially over. I spent the majority of the season in the sun working the patio: my hair is lighter and I have the best tan of my life because of it. Something about brown shoulders makes me feel like an island goddess. But now it’s time to slowly trade in the ‘kinis for tights and boots, salads for soups and clear liquor for brown.
Isn’t autumn everyone’s favorite season? (And who doesn’t have ubercrushes on the Mr. Autumn-types?) There’s the beards, the oranges and reds, smokey, crisp air, baked goods and Halloween to look forward to. We get to start bundling up and feeling cozy with warm textures and flavors: we crave warming spices, harvest foods and begin to slow our pace a little. These are our natural reactions to the cooling, breezy weather, which can bring out feelings of anxiety and ungroundedness. I know I’m definitely feeling these things: the weather in Chicago has cycled from 90 to 60 for the past week and half, and mentally I can’t seem to focus and have a lingering feeling of disconnectedness. Makes sense, though, given this season of change.
One of my favorite ways to reconnect is developing a good routine. While this can be in regards to anything–self-care, how you eat, how you plan your workday–I find routines especially helpful first thing when you wake up, and the last thing you do before you sleep. Now, some people abhor routine, and that’s fine, but even a little bit of planned activity can be tremendously healing for your nervous system. Routine gives your unconscious mind something to settle on instead of agonizing about when you’re going to answer those e-mails or get to the gym. I have a pretty standard morning routine that works wonders for me (I just don’t feel right unless I get these done anymore!) but here’s one you can do before you eat:
- Wash hands, taking a few moments to settle your mind
- Prepare food quietly or while listening to relaxing music
- Sit down and eat. Seriously: Turn off the TV, shut your laptop, silence your phone and put it across the room, sit your ass down and do nothing but enjoy your food. Chew each mouthful 30 times, and notice how much flavor and texture and wonderfulness is in each bite.
- Wash your dishes.
- Rest quietly for 10 minutes. Let your mind and body digest your food.
- Brush your teeth then scrape your tongue. Get those toxins out!
- Dry brush.
- Do a sexy self-massage. Ok, it doesn’t have to be sexy, but it IS sensual and an awesome way to spend time with your skin, and self-massage comes with a huge amount of benefits, like increased circulation and a calm, clear head. Try an oil with warming properties like sesame or almond.
- Hop in the shower. Make it enjoyable and don’t rush: use products you like the smell of. That’s why I just blew $20 on a discontinued Lush shower gel scent. But you know what? My showers rock because of it.
- Look in the mirror and choose an intention for your day: what do you want to manifest more of in your life? Let this bubble up from inside instead of thinking about it. Let the words come to you, then set an alarm in your phone with your intention for a sweet little reminder during your day.
- Begin to prepare for bed by minimizing use of your phone, computer and TV. What?? What else is there to do?? Try reading, doing a little bit of cleaning or preparing
- Shower–maybe even dry brush or do a little self massage for extra relaxation points.
- Change into clean jammies, and sit quietly for 10 minutes. This could mean meditating, journaling or just contemplating your day. Do it with a sense of ease and with the intention of putting your day away.
- Get into bed to sleep, or read something dense and kinda boring. Like a historical biography. Anything riveting will get your mind racing again.
Bam. Short, easy to do and so powerful. If this isn’t resonating with you, try coming up with a series of events you can do: before you work out, what you do as you get ready in the morning–the tiniest series events done daily creates such a calming effect on your subconcious. What routines do you plan on incorporating into your day?