Rituals for Autumnal Wellness

We’re well into autumn now and in Seattle we’re facing a week of wet. The mornings are dark, as we wait a few more weeks for the clock to fall back. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that from nature’s vantage point, fall is a tough time to re-establish daily rhythms. Yet culturally, it’s a time to “get back to it,” after a more relaxed pace in summer. I prioritized rest in July and August, and thankfully had some space in my mornings to sleep in a little more and still move through my well-established rituals. Now it feels brutal to set my alarm clock early-early to accommodate these routines that seemed effortless in the spring. I’m finally admitting to myself how much the waning daylight affects me. I need things built into my mornings and evenings that I look forward to, that nourish me.

If you’re struggling to start or hold on to a wellness (or any other) routine, know you are not alone. Autumn is a season of constant shifts, instability and tumult. It screams inconsistency. My response is often to scrap something that’s not working and try something else. Again, and again. Or throw my hands in the air and give up. And this just feeds the beast. Instead of trying to totally revamp your lifestyle or completely surrender, what about picking one or two simple rituals to help ground your body and mind? One that you’ll look forward to at the same time every day and one for every week.   

Some daily rituals that I encourage my students and clients to try in the mornings and/or evenings are to light a candle, drink a cup of herbal tea or warm lemon water and move their body in an intentional, focused way. A weekly wellness routine might be a yoga, meditation, or dance class on the same day and time. Maybe you love the outdoors and commit to one walk or hike outside every Saturday morning. Or plan a Sunday meal that you can sit down to with family or friends and enjoy at a slow pace. Pick one or two things to easily commit to that will nurture and sustain you as we continue our journey towards the darkest day of the year.


Rebekah is a writer, yoga teacher and Riveter member. Connect with her at rebekahpape.com and on Instagram @rebekahpape.