Autumn Is On the Horizon

| September 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

by Violet Green

Let’s take a break from all of busyness of summer to notice a subtle, quiet shift…in the light, I’m talking about sunlight.

Even though the San Diego temperatures won’t reflect cool weather for quite some time, I am noticing that the rising sun no longer awakens me with a quick poke of the eye and that it’s a bit darker, a bit earlier, when we have dinner at the backyard table. The outward reach of the summer sun is fading and doesn’t quite cover the same spots in my garden. Have you noticed any changes?

Are you the kind of person who loves to bake in the sunshine and skip and frolic in the heat? Or, do you find you’re more like me – seeking every inch of shade and waiting for the cooling in order to head back out onto the hiking trails?

Traditionally, autumn is a time of harvest and of going inward – gathering what’s left in the garden (squash, pumpkins, etc.) and heading inside to get out of the cold. It’s also a time of going within yourself. During this season we spend less time out and about and more time at home nesting, eating yummy soups and stews.

So, even though it doesn’t feel like autumn yet, your body may be responding to the changes in light and may be craving a little more down time, a bit more sleep, and a little less activity as we transition into this new season.

In order to honor my body’s needs, I find myself napping when I need to and also trying to make time for my routines around sleeping and waking. It’s easy to get hooked on screen time, whether articles online or a great new show to binge watch, but I try to turn off the glowing devices about an hour before bed. This lets my body know that it’s time to start winding down and helps my eyes transition away from the glare and stress of the day. Sometimes, I even walk around without my glasses until bedtime, allowing for more soft surroundings as I work through my routine of sipping tea, brushing my teeth, thinking through my menu plan for the next day, and tending to my dog’s needs.

I make sure that my sleep space is dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature and that all of my physical needs are met so that I can have an uninterrupted, restorative rest. As I cozy into my bed, I review the day with gratitude and try to be gentle to myself in areas that still need improvement—after all, I’m still learning.

In the morning, I also try to maintain a calm routine upon waking. I still need an alarm to wake on time for my daily routine, but I ensure that it’s a gentle nudge instead of an “alarming” tone. I’m a champion sleeper and really don’t like to get up early, but I’ve found that I need some “me” time first thing each day. I start with gentle stretches of my body, then I drink a glass of water while sitting on the side of my bed, and finally I slip outside to the garden barefoot. I get a chance to stroll through the garden looking for new shoots and blooms, to see if the birds need more water, and to discover any new garden secrets that may have popped up in the last day or two.

Trees are preparing for the change of the season.

Trees are preparing for the change of the season.

I don’t make time for all of these things every single day, but I have noticed that my days seem to flow much better when I’ve taken the time to wind down in the evening and slowly ease into my mornings.

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Category: Health & Fitness

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General articles by the Presidio Sentinel and Associated Partners.