As the 23rd September arrives, so does the official start of Autumn, but the seasonal shift can be an anxious time for many. The days grow shorter, the nights stretch longer and we wave goodbye to warmer, sunnier days which can leave us feeling a little flat. It’s perfectly normal to feel a range of emotions during seasonal transitions as changes in weather and daylight can affect our mood and energy levels. Recognising these feelings marks the first step in managing them – a mantra that can prove useful in addressing life's many challenges.
When confronting the seasonal shift, prioritise maintaining a regular routine which can provide a sense of stability during periods of change. Set consistent wake-up and bedtime hours, and allocate specific times for self-care, work and relaxation. Practising mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can help you stay present and centred. Additionally, warm baths and journaling offer calming ways to unwind at the end of each day, while spending time in nature can anchor you amidst the shifting seasons. For those new to mindful breathing exercises, head on over to our blog on “overthinking” where we explore Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman’s Physiological Sigh technique - a simple but scientifically proven effective way to release stress and induce an instant calm.
Embrace Nature with Forest Bathing
Instead of resisting the transition from summer to autumn, shift your focus towards the unique and enchanting aspects of autumn. Engage with the season by taking part in forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku. Forest bathing involves immersing yourself in nature, focusing on the sights, sounds, and scents around you. So, head to a local woodland or park and take time to admire the changing colours of the leaves, the sounds they make and the scents you can smell. Engaging in such activities is known to lower stress hormones like cortisol and boost mood. In fact, research in environmental psychology and ecotherapy has established strong connections between nature exposure and mental well-being. Functional MRI scans even demonstrate that natural settings activate parts of the brain associated with relaxation and reduced stress.
Spending time in nature offers the added benefit of increased oxygen intake, thanks to the abundance of plants and trees. Through photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, resulting in higher oxygen concentrations in areas rich with vegetation. This higher oxygen level can positively affect your mental state, promoting alertness, improved concentration, and overall well-being. Adequate oxygen is essential for brain function, energy production, mood regulation, and overall physical health. So, for a natural health boost, consider a calming forest bathing session and pair it with a dose of CBD for the ultimate feel-good experience.
Laugh Your Way to Joy
If forest bathing isn't your cup of tea, you might want to explore laughter yoga – a delightful combination of laughter and deep breathing. Don't knock it until you've tried it; you might discover it's right up your street! Laughing releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones), and reduces stress, promoting a sense of joy and relaxation – the ultimate combo!
Aromatherapy and Finger Labyrinths
If you prefer something a little less unconventional than forest bathing and laughter yoga, consider aromatherapy rollers and finger labyrinths – simple practices you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Create your own anxiety-relief aromatherapy roller by mixing calming essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot with a carrier oil and apply to pulse points whenever you need a moment of tranquillity. As part of your nightly self-care routine, a soothing dose of Love Hemp CBD can help support your sense of calm and prepare you for a deep and restful sleep. Pair this with applying your aromatherapy roller and you have a perfect combo. Additionally, using a finger labyrinth, which you can buy from most online gadget outlets, can engage your mind to help you to find calm. Tracing the labyrinth's paths with your finger can be meditative, redirecting your focus and alleviating anxious thoughts as you concentrate on the sensation beneath your fingertips.
Beyond these unique health hacks, it's impossible to ignore the comforting foods and drinks that autumn brings, such as the classic pumpkin spiced latte and of course, we had to make our own version with a CBD twist! It’s the perfect autumnal treat, combining all the benefits of CBD with the power of coffee for a delightful experience that’ll leave you craving more.
Why not make it a tradition to try a new seasonal dish each week? Just be sure to use fresh, seasonal produce to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of September and subsequent autumn months.