The Science of Seasonal Change:
As the Earth tilts away from the sun, days become shorter and temperatures drop, signaling our bodies to prepare for the cooler months ahead. Research has shown that our circadian rhythms, the internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle, can be influenced by these shifts in daylight. A study in the journal “Current Biology” found that the lengthening of night during autumn can lead to shifts in our sleep patterns, potentially causing mood changes and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in some individuals1.
Foods of Fall:
Nature has a way of providing exactly what we need, when we need it. Autumn brings a bounty of nutrient-dense foods that naturally support our bodies during this transition. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that supports vision and immunity. Apples, abundant in the fall, are rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C. According to a study in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”, apples have been linked to improved gut health and reduced risk of chronic diseases2.
Wellness Rituals for Autumn:
Autumn is a perfect time to slow down, reflect, and engage in self-care rituals. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) associates autumn with the metal element, emphasizing the importance of letting go, just as trees shed their leaves. TCM practitioners often recommend lung-strengthening exercises during this season, as the lungs are believed to be connected to the emotion of grief, providing a therapeutic avenue for releasing pent-up emotions3.
Emotionally and psychologically, autumn can be a season of introspection. The Danish concept of “hygge”, which has no direct English translation but encompasses a sense of cozy contentment, can be especially relevant during this time. Embracing the changes in nature, creating a warm and cozy environment, and indulging in simple pleasures can be therapeutic and align one with the season’s energy5.
- “Current Biology” – Circadian Rhythms ↩
- “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” – Apple Consumption ↩
- “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Autumn” ↩
- “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” – Exercise in Cold Weather ↩
- “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking ↩