Seasonal self-care is based on the idea that we are nature. We’re not separate. So the same forces and rhythms we see in the world around us are mirrored in our own bodies.
This means that as the seasons ebb and flow – with their variations in temperature, moisture, sunlight – the ways we care for ourselves throughout the year will be different too.
We all feel this intuitively, reaching for cool drinks and salads in summer, and cozy blankets and soup in winter.
We can build on this innate understanding with simple seasonal self-care concepts and practices.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
We’re lucky in our modern age to have access to traditional healing wisdom from around the world (although perhaps unlucky to have lost our own home healthcare lineages).
From ancient healing modalities, we’ve been gifted an in–depth understanding of seasonal associations. We know that according to Classical Chinese Medicine, spring is associated with rising yang (upward energy), liver and gallbladder organ systems and anger and irritability (among others).
These observations were collected by people paying attention to the seasons and common imbalances that occurred at the same time every year.
Our job isn’t to take these as gospel, just blindly following the practices laid out, but to be like these ancestors – to pay attention to our seasons and ourselves. To see if we notice the same patterns, and to build a toolkit of self-care practices that feel supportive for us.
The beauty of home herbalism is that we can seamlessly adjust our seasonal self-care rhythm throughout the year.
What Seasonal Self-Care IS and ISN’T
It’s important to say here – seasonal self-care isn’t a rote set of practices. It’s not a to-do list or a set of rules.
It’s an invitation to engage deeply with daily life – to notice the blooming of a flower, the feel of the air on our skin and how we feel in our bodies.
Each season is different. We ourselves are different in each season. And we take our cues from the land around us, not the calendar.
You might even find that the seasonal self-care practices you used last year aren’t needed this year, or perhaps you need more support. Or perhaps if this is a wetter-than-normal summer, the herbs and other self-care practices you work with might reflect this.
Start slow and small
A quick word for those just starting out — there are many layers to this and the beauty of seasonal living is that your relationship with yourself and land grows deeper each year. It’s not so much a destination as it is the way you relate to life.
With this in mind – start with where you’re at and what you can do, rather than feeling like you’ve got to do it all.
For one thing, doing it all isn’t sustainable (or necessary) – and we’re hoping to build a lifestyle rhythm that you can sustain for decades.
Seasonal self-care is really about a relationship with yourself and the world around you. As you get to know yourself and your body better, the self-care practices you turn to will become more intuitive and familiar.
Over time, you’ll naturally build your personalised seasonal self-care toolkit. It can involve a range of simple practices, including food as medicine, herbal medicine, seasonally-appropriate breathwork, bodywork, acupressure, yoga, qigong, energy healing and more… Your toolkit will be built by you, being guided by your interests, constitution and needs.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll talk herbs and lifestyle practices to support your body to balance in spring.
- We are nature and we are affected by the seasons
- Our daily self-care/ home healthcare needs to change in response to each season (sometimes it’ll be subtle).
- Common imbalances arise during different seasons and we can use this traditional knowledge to guide our seasonal self-care practices
- Seasonal self-care is a relationship with ourselves and the land around we live within.
- Our seasonal self-care toolkit is unique to us. We don’t need to do what everyone else is doing, we just need to find ways to care for ourselves that works for us.
- Seasonal self-care puts us in the drivers seat of our own health and wellbeing