Updated: Oct 22, 2022
What is seasonal living?
A look out of the window will tell you what season it is. Maybe there’s the soft glow of orange hued autumn light, with leaves in brilliant golds and reds falling from the trees. Or maybe it’s a balmy summer evening with the scent of jasmine drifting through the air, distant laughter from neighbours dining al fresco. Perhaps there’s a crisp white frost and the trees are baron, creating stark sculptural figures in the deep midwinter. Or there could be a chill in the air accompanied by the first sunny days of spring, with fresh green shoots and bulbs bursting into life bringing pops of colour and the promise of things to come.
Seasonal living is about really noticing and embracing each of these shifts in nature’s cycles and all the magic and beauty that comes with these fleeting moments.
Seasonal living is being tuned into what’s happening in nature and using it as a guide for how you live.
Not that long ago we would have been so connected with nature that we instinctively followed it’s cycles. We would have had a deep knowing. Many people have lost this innate sense because of the way we live our lives today. In the modern world we live and work in ways that close us off to nature’s ways and nature’s medicine. We’re engrossed in technology, we use artificial light to extend our day’s and bypass our natural rhythms, we use heating and air conditioning to change our environment. Some of us are so wrapped up in the daily grind we hardly notice what's going on in nature.
The less we interact with the natural world, the more detached we can feel. We can become closed off to the changes around us, that are reflected within us. The thing is…we are nature! We’re not apart from it. We’re part of it.
Seasonal living offers a way to rekindle our relationship with nature. In the process, we can uncover the joy and beauty in the natural world hidden in plain sight all around us. And it can be done anywhere, even if you live in a city.
Nature is ever changing. It’s a constant cycle of death, rebirth, vibrancy and rest. When the cooler, darker months approach mother nature knows it’s time to draw back and prepare for rest so that she can be ready when Spring comes round again. Taking a leaf from mother nature’s book would do us all some good! We all need to take that time to rest, rejuvenate, replenish fully, and just enjoy life and our surroundings.
Following the cyclical changes in nature can help us do just that.
It’s certainly helped me with my mental health and wellbeing. Nature connection is one of my core values.
The benefits of seasonal living include:
improved mood and reduced stress due to spending time in nature
increased feelings of interconnectedness with the natural world and our place in it
the chance to slow down, reflect, and live in a more mindful, intentional way
better understanding and acceptance of the whole range of our emotions; just like we see with the weather - storms, rain and sunshine are all necessary and are all normal. So too are our emotions. There is no good or bad emotion, they are all necessary and all normal
greater knowledge of plants, foods and natural medicine
Seasonal living tips
Look outside every morning and notice the weather and changing seasons. What can you see? Pick a tree you can observe it as often as possible to notice it’s changes over time
Look outside every evening and observe the moon cycles
Create daily routines and ways to be mindful and in the present moment. This could be as simple as stopping to smell the roses, breathing in the outside air each day, appreciating birdsong, drinking herbal teas with seasonal ingredients
Bring the outside in. Have plants and flowers in the home. It doesn’t need to cost anything, go on a walk and see what you can forage, bring in flowers from the garden. Create seasonal wreaths, flower crowns, nature mandalas, use seasonal materials such as acorns, mini pumpkins, dried flowers. Try seasonal arts and crafts like flower pressing. Using seasonal candles and sprucing up your accessories can be nice too
Embrace the weather. Go outside in all seasons. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!
Eat seasonally. Purposefully buy things that are in season in the country you live in. There’s a reason it’s in season! Because that’s what your body needs. Get a seasonal recipe book or a food magazine. Visit a local farmer’s market, grocer’s or health food shop for inspiration. Eating in this way will give you variety throughout the year and will reduce your carbon footprint as you’re not buying things that are grown in other countries because they can’t be grown where you live. Take this one step further by growing your own. There’s nothing tastier than something you’ve nurtured and harvested yourself
Use your 5 senses to mindfully notice what’s around you. Check out my 5 senses guide for tips on this
Look into the Wheel of the Year which is an annual cycle of seasonal celebrations and festivals based around the sun and moon cycles and the midpoints between them (solstices and equinoxes). Traditionally they include Yule, Imbolc, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain
Read books about different seasons to build your knowledge and understanding. Foraging books are a good place to start
Think about the traits of each season and mirror those in the way you live:
Summer is a time for growth, socialising, high energy, playfulness, creativity, adventures, trying new things, lightness, movement, collaboration and communication.
Autumn is a time for slowly becoming more introspective, thoughtful and relaxed. It's a time to start slowing down, taking stock, shedding, letting things go, going inward and focussing on your home and family.
Winter is a time for rest and reflection. This is the most introverted energy of the year. It's time to rest, take a break, reflect on what's working and what's not, allow tranqulity and serenity, pausing and planting seeds for the next cycle.
Spring is a time to emerge from your shell and begin implementing all the goals and dreams you envisioned in winter. Spring means slowly becoming more extroverted, more magnetic, quickening your pace, bringing in the energy or renewal and rebirth, taling action and starting to blossom.
Did you know that if you have a menstrual cycle you also have your own spring, summer, autumn and winter each month? Blog post coming on that soon!
There's something magic and healing in the repetition of nature. A assurance that change is ok. That dawn comes after night. Sun after a storm. Spring after winter. The sense that whatever is going on, this too shall pass.
Did you know I offer online and in-person workshops and retreats every season to help you connect with yourself, nature and bring seasonal living into your life? Check out my Seasonal living workshops page to find out more.
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