Taking Cues from Nature during the Fall Season


In the Northern Hemisphere, the last few months of the calendar year are marked by cooling weather and gearing up for the holidays. My patients, friends, and family each approach the season differently — some with joy and celebration, some with dread and anxiety.

It’s helpful to remember our physical bodies also feel the changes of the year. We can look to Nature and her creatures for ideas on how to navigate the times.

First: It’s okay to feel conflicted about celebrating.

Fall is a time to acknowledge the harvest and the abundance of the summer, but also a time to keep conserving, storing, and survival in mind. Squirrels enjoy the abundance of acorns and other seasonal foods, but they keep building their stash. It’s okay to understand what resources you have (time, energy, money, and patience) and celebrate within those means. Nature tells us it’s even okay to hold back some of our resources in storage for the future.

     Related story: Rolling with the Time Changes


Second: It’s okay to rest.

It’s okay to feel tired. Bears hibernate. Trees turn their energy inward and drop their leaves. Insects slow down. An inward shift of energy and focus is natural this time of the year.

Third: It’s okay to hang out with others for warmth, comfort, and noise when needed.

During the late fall and winter, large groups of crows hang out together. Crows join up (roost) in groups to keep more eyes looking out for  predators and food sources during the winter. Roosting also provides the birds with warmth, conversation, and the opportunity to meet new friends. In the spring, they go back to their smaller family groups.

Fourth: Remember spring rather reliably follows winter.

Winter may be long and cold — and then in Vermont and New Hampshire there’s mud season — but spring is just around the corner. If you need help keeping an optimistic lookout for spring, reach out for help from family, friends, or a health professional. You don’t have to do winter alone.

Would you like more personalized help managing your energy, health, and mood this time of year? Consider a becoming an APD Integrative Medicine patient. When you see me for a new patient visit, we will discuss your health situation and wellness goals and make a plan that’s just right for you. Our team also includes massage therapists who can help your body feel its best with craniosacral therapy, deep tissue and gentle flow massage.

Cindy Reuter ND, LAc, RD, MSOM, MPH, is the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital.