Autumn: The Season of Letting Go

Autumn is a season of change, of letting go. Trees are loosing their leaves, flowers die, and animals are preparing to go into hibernation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season is paired with an emotion, and autumn is paired with grief and letting go. So why not follow the rhythm of nature and use this time to reflect on any unresolved grief you may be holding onto – and let it go.

If you are having trouble connecting with your emotions, consider spending some time in nature and use the changes going on in the environment to guide your reflection. Art therapy or journalling can also be helpful forms of self-expression. When patients are struggling with unresolved grief, I frequently encourage them to write a letter to the person they have lost (whether through death or the end of a relationship), to help allow them to express anything that has been left unsaid. I then encourage them to read it aloud to themselves and safely destroy it to symbolize the letting go of the loss.

Healing can occur in stages and if the loss or grief is too big to deal with at once, think of dealing with it in small manageable chunks at a time. For example, focus on one aspect of it in your letter writing so that you do not feel overwhelmed.

Grief, loss, and letting go are difficult but unavoidable in life. If you are having difficulty getting over a loss, be sure to speak to someone who can help support you. Naturopathic doctors have experience helping people through the challenges that come with loss and grief and have strategies to support you.