At the time of writing, we are entering the crescent moon phase of the lunar calendar, and our clear night skies appear dark, except for a thin sliver of crescent moonlight. This and the approaching Autumn equinox and astronomical Autumn on 23rd September turn our attention to the growing darkness and cooling temperatures. We wanted to explore how this can make us feel and behave and look at what we can do to support ourselves through this, our third and penultimate season of the year.
Let there be light
As human animals, we need light, natural light from the sun. That is why the dark half of the year can be so challenging. The lack of natural light at this time of year can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and a range of symptoms that include an increase in anxiety. That is why, to address the light deficit, it is essential to get outside on a regular basis and take in as much natural light as possible.
Daylight simulators can also help boost your mood as the days darken or if you struggle with the dark mornings.
Consider a dawn simulator to gently wake you up and give you a light boost to help you start your day with a little more energy and motivation. A brand of light therapy that we use is Lumie, but you can find other brands available.
Build natural daylight breaks into your day, even cloudy days will be beneficial and pop them in your diary, with reminders, so you don’t forget.
Slow down and get comfortable
Autumn is a time of change and if you look to nature as your guide, you will see a natural slowing down and preserving of energy, as the leaves begin to change colour on the trees and fall and some animals prepare to hibernate.
Follow their lead. Take time to consider your seasonal rhythm and how you can make changes that support you and your wellness.
Move outside, this could be walking or sitting and generally connecting to green spaces, and take the time to be, rather than do, with more mindful moments that are taken away from technology and daily stressors.
A weighted blanket is a great way to create a sense of comfort and safety, helping to ease stress and anxiety, improving sleep and calming the nervous system.
This is also the ideal time of year to explore creating cosy, supportive interiors, so be inspired by Danish hygge or the Scottish equivalent of coorie.
Embrace the darkness
Take advantage of the darkness and add candles, candle effect tealights, or soft flickering candle bulbs to your living room. The amber light is warm and soothing, mimicking dusk and the onset stage of sleep.
Or get outside and light the fire pit, a real return to our natural primal state. If a fire isn’t an option, there is a wealth of outdoor lights available to make your garden into an Autumnal fairytale.
The clear night skies can also provide their own entertainment with a spot of star gazing. You can watch the moon and various constellations move across the night sky. Look out for meteor showers, and the different moons that come with Autumn. Harvest, Hunter and Frost moons can be spectacular.
Our lighting on Earth can have a negative impact on our night skies and our nocturnal environment. If you are interested in discovering lighting with less impact and where to explore dark skies follow this link
The pagans had it right
In pagan times Autumn equinox was celebrated as a time to reflect on what has served you well and what hasn’t. It is the time to let things go and regroup for the future.
Now is our opportunity to live more harmoniously with the darker seasons. There are plenty of options to make it more enjoyable, less stressful and beneficial to your mental health.
Let’s find comfort and celebrate this season of natural awe and wonder.