Seasonal Living is all about finding joy and peace in the rhythms of nature. We’ve lost touch with the way that the natural world works, taking our cues from artificial light, technology and schedules instead of Mother Earth herself. The idea behind seasonal living is a simple one: to put ourselves back in tune with the seasons and cycles of life.
The world we live in is full of natural rhythms. If you’ve ever experienced the reds and oranges of autumn, basked in the glow of a bright yellow sun in summer, or watched the waves crash against the shore, you’ve felt this connection. In this article I want to show you how easy it is to reconnect with nature by living in harmony with seasonal change.
When we allow ourselves to tune in to the tremendous insights and opportunities seasonal living can give us, we will begin to experience nature in a brand new way. We will see how every natural event around us is connected, and how we are part of a larger whole.
These thirteen ideas for seasonal living open up a world of possibilities and connect us to nature in a whole new way.
What Are the Benefits of Seasonal Living?
Here are a few of the things you can likely experience from making seasonal living your priority.
- spending time in nature can reduce stress and improve mood.
- seasonal living helps us feel more connected to nature and our place in the universe.
- greater awareness of the diversity of life on our planet.
- the opportunity to savor life and live each moment more mindfully and intentionally.
13 Ways to Live Seasonally
Seasonal living is a great way to experience nature. Here are 13 ways you can connect with the rhythms of nature.
1) Eat in Season
One of the best things you can do for yourself and for the planet is to eat a seasonal diet. Eating seasonally means consuming fruits and vegetables that are in season in your local region. Eating out-of-season produce usually isn’t as nutrient-rich as eating what’s growing locally because it tends to have been picked before its peak ripeness.
By eating in season, you’re not only supporting local farmers but also reducing your carbon footprint. Eating locally grown foods is better for the environment because it takes less energy to transport food from the farm to your plate. Food that is grown closer to home has a smaller carbon footprint than food that’s shipped from across the country or around the world. When you choose seasonal foods, you can enjoy the best flavors of each season and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
2) Observe and Record the Natural World
Observe and record the weather, plants and animals around you. By observing the natural environment around you you begin to become aware of subtle seasonal shifts and the cycles of nature more fully. This is a great way to become aware of the natural rhythms that govern life on earth. This awareness can lead to greater appreciation for the environment and our place within it. Here’s a Free Nature Journal for Download that you might find helpful.
3) Celebrate the Seasons
One of the best ways to connect with the seasons is by celebrating them. There are many traditions around the world that honor each season, from ancient celebrations of thanks and gratitude for all that life gives us to modern celebrations of love and friendship.
Celebrate the seasons by honoring each one with a special tradition. In summer, have a barbeque or take a trip to the ocean. In autumn, enjoy harvest festivals and colorful leaves. In winter, create memories with sparkly lights and hot chocolate. In spring, celebrate with flowers and planting seeds. Every season has something special to offer.
One way to celebrate the seasons is by creating a seasonal calendar. This can be as simple or elaborate as you like, but it’s an excellent way to create rituals and traditions that bring meaning to your life.
4) Live In Tune With Lunar Cycles
Our ancient ancestors were experts at seasonal living. They tracked the movements of the moon and stars to connect with the natural cycles of our earth. By watching the constellations and planetary alignments, we can see how we are part of a greater whole. Some people meditate on their place in the universe by looking at the stars for inspiration. Others find solace in nature by watching the lunar phases; this connection with nature is like celebrating seasonal holidays in our solar calendar.
The moon is a cycle of magic, an eternal divine presence that creates untold changes in response to cycles and seasons on Earth. While we are aware enough to live comfortably by the sun’s positioning, living by the moon, even more, intensifies our connection with nature and life. There are endless benefits to aligning your life with the moon. It can help you live in rhythm with nature, understand its effect on your health and well-being, and help in your spiritual growth.
The new moon is a time for new beginnings. It is a good time to start projects, plant seeds for the future, and set intentions for the month ahead. Journaling during the new moon is recommended — it helps you express yourself clearly and can help you prioritize goals.
A time to take action on the goals you set during the new moon. As the moon begins to expand, so do your visions and plans. Use the waxing moon’s momentum to actualize your visions and build on what you started during the new moon.
This is the moment when we can see our work and life illuminated. This phase of the moon represents abundance, fertility, transformation, and completion. It also represents illumination; solutions to questions or issues will arise during this time. During the full moon, you can honestly examine your work and life and assess what’s working and what’s not.
This is a period of surrender. When the moon wanes, let go of what no longer serves you. Shed the old and prepare for new growth. The waning phase is when you wind down, reflect on your accomplishments, and get grounded before moving onto the next cycle.
MORE MOON READING:
5) Celebrate The Equinoxes and Solstices
One way to get the most out of seasonal living is to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, four celestial events that mark the transition from one season to another. The summer solstice is when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. During this time of year, we experience long days and warm weather. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, bringing with it cold temperatures and snowfall. The spring and fall equinoxes mark the midway points between each solstice when day and night are equal around the globe.
The changing of seasons is a powerful reminder that the Earth is alive and vibrant. Each season holds its own unique beauty, and we can all find something to appreciate about each one. Whether you’re celebrating the winter solstice with a bonfire or taking in the sights of spring flowers during the vernal equinox, these four natural milestones are great opportunities for you to get outside and connect with nature in a deeper way.
Here are the equinoxes and solstices and ways to celebrate each:
On the Winter Solstice, nature begins a new year. It is a time when the winter darkness is at its deepest but the light is returning. This is a time to sleep more, eat rich, comforting meals, gather with family around a warm hearth, dream big for the year ahead, and renew ourselves.
The Autumn Equinox marks a time of great change in nature and in our lives. We can feel the energy shifting from outward-focused to inward-focused. It’s a time to slow down, return to our roots, and prepare for what lies ahead. Autumn is a perfect time for crafting or bringing more rituals into your life, whether that means enjoying rich, hearty seasonal foods or crafting items for use throughout the year.
6) Connect With the Land
By paying attention to the land and environment around you, you can experience more seasonal living. Learn how to identify trees and birds and learn about the native medicinal plants that grow where you live. Learn what they need to survive, and how their habits and behaviors change with the seasons.
If you’re lucky enough to live near natural areas, take some time each day or week to go exploring. Listen to nature, and try to learn from it: This is a good way to get started on the path toward becoming more environmentally conscious; by observing the land you become more aware of their changes seasonally and how they are affected by humans. By being mindful of the natural world around you—and learning from it—you can better understand how to help these areas flourish in harmony with humans.
7) Watch wildlife
Seeking out and observing wildlife can help us experience the natural cycles of nature in an intimate way. Watching wildlife can provide us with a window into nature’s cycles. We can observe how various species migrate, hibernate and breed in response to the changing seasons.
It can also help us understand the impact of human activity on the environment. For example, if we see fewer birds or other animals in an area where pesticides have been used, we may be more motivated to take action for environmental protection.
If you’re interested in watching wildlife, there are many ways to do so. You can go on birdwatching walks or attend lectures about local wildlife at your community center. If you live near a forest, field or stream, consider walking through it and becoming familiar with the types of plants and animals that live there. Each species has its own unique set of behaviors that we can learn about and admire. By watching the wildlife in your area, you can become more aware of how they have adapted to their environment and can help us better understand our human impact on the natural world around us.
MORE READING ABOUT WILDLIFE:
- 13 Reasons Why Native Plants Are Best: A Wildlife Gardener’s Perspective
- How to Turn Your Yard Into an Amazing Certified Wildlife Habitat and Botanical Sanctuary
8) Grow a Garden
In the garden, we become experts at understanding all phases of life. Growing plants from seed then watching them flower and fruit is a tangible way to get involved in the ongoing cycles of nature. It’s in the garden that we become intimate with the lifecycle our land endures through a seasonal year. This is true seasonal living!
MORE READING ABOUT GARDENING:
9) Begin a Morning Ritual for Nature Connection
Starting your day with a morning ritual can help you to feel more grounded and connected to that season. You can start a morning ritual for nature connection by taking a walk in your yard, going for a hike, or even just sitting on your porch with a cup of coffee and enjoying the sounds of birds chirping or leaves rustling.
I typically start my day with a tea ritual that incorporates wild herbs and plants that I foraged or grew in that particular season. For instance, it’s common to drink lemon balm and mint tea in the summer and rosehip or pine needle tea come wintertime. This type of ritual can be a great way to get in touch with your surroundings and the seasons.
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10) Watch the Sun Rise and Set
Watching the Sun rise and set can help you feel more connected to nature and become more in tune with seasonal changes. Sunrise and sunset are beautiful events that can be enjoyed by anyone who takes the time to appreciate them. They are a great time of day to set intentions or reflect on the day that has passed and prepare yourself for the next one ahead. I enjoy watching these natural occurrences while taking in all of their beauty, colors, shapes, textures, which helps me feel more connected to nature around me and my place in it.
11) Spend Time Daily in Nature
In order to get most out of seasonal living, it’s important to try and spend a few minutes each day communing with nature. Take a walk in the woods, sit by a stream and listen to it babble over stones, look at the wildflowers, and touch the bark of a tree that’s been growing for hundreds of years. Slow down enough to notice what’s happening around you—what are the animals doing? What is the weather like? These daily observations will help you develop a strong relationship with the patterns of nature.
Disconnecting from technology offers a chance to reconnect with nature. Instead of reading on your tablet or smartphone, read a paperback book. Instead of watching TV or a movie, tell stories around the campfire or go on an evening adventure to search for local legends. Use an analog wristwatch to tell time instead of looking at your phone’s clock app. Use a paper map instead of using GPS navigation. Cook over an outdoor fire instead of using electric appliances. Wake up with the sun each morning and go to bed when it gets dark at night. Disconnecting from tech can restore balance to your body and mind so that you can connect with nature’s rhythms more easily.
Disconnecting from technology can also help you make better use of your time. When you’re not wasting it on social media or scrolling through your newsfeed, for example, you have more time to do things that are actually important.
13) Practice Mindfulness in Nature
Mindfulness is all about being present and aware of what’s happening around you. It can help you calm down, reduce stress, and even improve your focus at work. This can help us slow down and be more intentional, promoting inner peace and balance.
When you practice mindfulness in nature, you can feel more connected to the Earth and her cycles. You’re also more likely to take in the beauty of Mother Nature, which can help soothe your soul. For example, when you notice a flower blooming or birds singing, this is a form of mindfulness. It’s also important to note that mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean sitting still in silence—it can be active or passive depending on your preferences.
When you’re mindful, you are fully present. Instead of letting your mind wander through thoughts, feelings and sensations, you focus on what’s happening right now. If you take a walk in nature, for example, try to notice each step as it happens. Feel the connection between your feet and the ground beneath them as they move forward. Notice how leaves rustle gently in the wind or how sunlight filters through the trees above.
These ideas for seasonal living are meant to spark your creativity and encourage you to find new ways to connect with nature. There’s no one right way to approach seasonal living, nor is there a one size fits all answer. What works for someone else may or may not work for you, and that’s ok. Above all, we want you to take the time to think about these possibilities and let them open up your own world of seasonal exploration. Life is too short not to enjoy every moment of it.