Mainstream Living vs Seasonal Living


Did you know that we function differently from season to season? And if we look to mother nature, she will give us the clues to live life with more vitality, nourishment, and connection. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Mainstream Living and Seasonal Living

Amy Doyle

Amy Doyle

Holistic Counsellor

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Mainstream living vs Seasonal living


What is seasonal living?

Cat Green from Everyday Empowered sums seasonal living up beautifully… 

"Seasonal living is a powerful way for us to reclaim a relationship with ourselves and the world around us. It reminds us that we aren't separate to, but an integral part of nature. Beyond just knowing there are seasons, learning to attune our lifestyle and self-care practices to them, gives us an opportunity to create more vitality, well-being, balance and joy in our lives."

Cat Green

Whereas mainstream living is all about this expectation to live day in and day out in the exact same way – treating ourselves like machines, rather than human beings. And then getting frustrated or concerned with ourselves when our habits, routines, moods and more go through phases that we don’t understand. Worst still we beat ourselves up and push through to maintain our “norm” instead of aligning ourselves to the cycles of nature and living in the beautiful flow of seasonal living.

What are the benefits of seasonal living?

The benefits of Seasonal Living may include:

  • improved mood
  • reduced stress levels
  • increased feelings of interconnectedness
  • greater knowledge and connection
  • opportunities to slow down, reflect and live in a more mindful.

How can I start living seasonally?

We can embed seasonal living into our lives in many ways, including:

Our kitchens:

  • choosing local, seasonal produce
  • using herbs, tonics, etc for seasonal ailments
  • honouring our nutritional needs and desires during the seasons.

Our homes:

  • bringing the outdoors in with natural materials (pinecones, feathers, driftwood, seasonal flowers)
  • diffusing essential oils or brewing herbs and spices for seasonal moods
  • changing/adding bedding, cushions, homewares for comfort and pleasure.

Our daily routines:

  • incorporating time in nature and using sensory experience to experience the changes of each season
  • noticing how our needs change each season and honouring these (sleep, play, downtime, movement, mindfulness and meditation, connection, focus)

Our celebrations:

  • honouring traditions or creating new ones to signify the changes of the season or important dates within.

What are the steps to seasonal living?

1. Becoming aware

Seasonal living begins by firstly becoming aware of:

  • ourselves
  • our environment
  • our rhythms
  • our family traditions
  • seasonal meanings and movements.

2. Observing

The next step is in observing these with more presence and wonder. What are the clues that nature leaves us and what are we observing within and around us at the same time? 

Then we need to look at what is our truth. What are our own habits, routines, rituals, behaviours, traditions and cues that change with the season?

  • What ones work with us and against us? 
  • What do we try to hold onto instead of letting it go?
  • Where do we resist the changes?
  • Where do we operate mindfully and mindlessly?
  • Where are we aware or oblivious to changes or traditions?
  • Where is our inner knowing and connection with the Earth?
  • What are the smells, tastes, sounds, and sights of the seasons that bring us joy and let us know of their arrival or departure?

When we tune in and stop expecting ourselves to act like machines and instead, embrace all of our own seasons, we invite self-compassion, kindness and connection into our lives. 

Remember Awareness + Observation = Truth. And truth can lead to change and inner alignment.

3. Taking action

Setting intentions, routines and rituals is really important when we move from mainstream living to seasonal living. Personally I found small changes over time to be the easiest way to do this. For example it all began with creating a summer holiday ritual for my little family. Once we found our flow with this we moved Christmas to July and began experimenting with family traditions we wanted to create for years to come. 

Here are some seasonal activity ideas you could try:

  • Visit your local markets for seasonal produce and chat to farmers about their insights.
  • Find and experiment with seasonal recipes to nourish your body.
  • Detox to cleanse and balance the body for the coming season.
  • Change up your movement practises each season to liven your routines and work with your body.
  • Reflect on the changes outside every day – weather, flora, fauna and how they indicate the changes in season.
  • Find a tree and observe it each week or month and notice the changes – create an art journal to map the changes.
  • Plan and tend to your garden with seasonal changes
  • Stargaze and track the constellations and moon phases.
  • Change up your home with seasonal homewares, nature finds and other meaningful items.
  • Create a seasonal altar to remind you of your intentions for the season.
  • Read/showcase books about the current season.
  • Create a list of fun outdoor activities you’d like to do each season as a family/social group.
  • Plan seasonal celebrations and the lead-up to these.

4. Reflecting and refining

Lastly reflecting on each season as it comes and goes is another part of aligning and refining our practices so we can get to know and understand ourselves better and how each season impacts us on different levels – mentally, emotional, physically, spiritually and environmentally.

Taking the time to write down our learnings about ourselves and the world around us and making notes for the next year can be incredibly helpful. This way we can prepare ourselves, our families, our homes, our celebrations, routines and rituals with more ease and attunement. 

Looking for seasonal inspiration?

Currently I am tuning in and refining my own practises. So while you are waiting for my own personal seasonal insights, you may find your own inspiration from these guides here:

Please note I am not affiliated with SuperFeast – I  just love the way they present this information. 

What are the ways you incorporate seasonal living into your life?

As you too learn to live more in tune with nature and her seasonal cycles, you  may like to download my Seasonal Living Reflection Journals to keep your notes and thoughts in one tidy place. You can do so here. 

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you and some of your own seasonal practices. Please leave your comments below, so we can learn from each other. 

Loved learning about mainstream living vs seasonal living?

Did you love this article and now you want to know more? Amy has a list of great articles Here on mental health topics and general self care, With her wealth of experience she can provide you with the insight and knowledge you need to make positive changes in your life. If you would love to get in contact with her you can get in touch here, But if you would to learn more bout Amy you can check out what she does Here.

Sources and suggested reading:

This blog was written with much inspiration and gratitude to those who are more well-practised in seasonal living than I am.

Amy Doyle

Holistic Counsellor

Amy helps her clients move from this idea that they are broken or missing pieces of their own puzzle, to owning their story, claiming back all parts of themselves and merging together as one team to allow them to rest and be in their deepest expression.

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