Here we are. The first day of August and the first day of a new season. It’s a struggle this year to not feel those familiar waves of disappointment as we think back on the (let’s be fair) fairly shite summer we’ve had here in Ireland. It’s been a rinse cycle of heavy rains, extreme cold, thunder storms and an altogether-too-unpredictable set of environmental events. It’s easy to feel disappointment as we move ahead into the next stage of the year. There is an inevitability now; the days will get shorter and colder, the leaves will begin to turn and the evenings will be quieter as the birds migrate. The kids go back to school and the roads will be busier…before you know it we will be planning Halloween costumes. It’s around now that we ask each other “where the hell did that year go?!”. There can also be a frantic feeling of trying to cram some enjoyment into the final days of summer. Let’s face it, we all do this and we all know that it will only inevitably drive feelings of anxiety and diminish whatever enjoyment we can squeeze out of the shortening days.
let’s Change our mindset
I’m really hoping that you will join me in a mindset shift this year. I tend to suffer through our dark and dismal winters with days spent inside at a computer or in the car commuting in dark rains. But this year I am convinced there are some small measures we can take that will allow us all to embrace this time of year from a different perspective. Historically and traditionally Autumn is seen as a time of abundance and plenty. The harvest is coming to a climax and it’s now when you, literally and figuratively, can reap what you have sown throughout the year. Instead of the usual dread or disappointment, why not take stock of all you have achieved in 2019?
I’ve chosen every day to consciously recognise the things I am grateful for by making a quick note in my journal. Even the “negative” experiences can be formative and I’ve found that tracking my daily gratitude is an effective way to bring subtle shifts to my mindset. This has been tried and tested as outlined by Harvard Medical School; “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” If it’s good enough for Harvard, eh?! It’s such a simple intervention, and you don’t even have to write it down. A conscious gratitude stock take before bed can be a great start.
Look back to look ahead
If you set any New Year’s Resolutions (I know right…remember them?!) or some goals for yourself throughout the months, you can use the new season as a milestone-marker to gauge your progress. And please, forget all self-flagellation and judgement. I’m not saying this is a time to sit to commiserate with yourself on how much you are failing. Be fair! If your goals aren’t progressing then why not reassess your process or your tools? Maybe you aren’t making progress because your “why” isn’t strong enough, in which case it’s time to decide what’s really important to you. Move on, reassess, set some new objectives or check in with your awesome progress. Set aside some mindful minutes and look back and see all that you’ve done in 2019. What a year! There’s no better time to talk through some of your favourite memories and experiences with your family or friends.
Moments of s.a.d.ness
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real problem for us folks in the Northern Hemisphere, so it’s only natural that some trepidation might be creeping over your bones with the shortening days. If this is something you experience then it’s important you try to get some sunlight on your skin. Autumn is an ideal time, while we still have some warm days ahead, to make a new commitment to movement and setting up a simple habit to get outside for 20 minutes every day. Carve out some non-negotiable time for lunchtime walks or invest in a Light Box to ease some of your symptoms. Making some small changes now will make you more resilient when we are in the depths of winter.
Mother nature knows what’s up
Look outside! Autumn is a time of shedding and protecting as leaves drop from trees so their energy and fuel can be put to use in different ways. Without this time of conservation and preservation they wouldn’t have the same vitality come Spring. We can learn something from this. What isn’t serving you any more? What is draining your energy stores? What can you gracefully let go of now to support you throughout the next season? Bake some self-preservation into your plans for the months ahead, you bloody-well deserve it after all you’ve done this year!
I am consciously carrying light and energy into the coming months, and focussing on building resilience through preservation and energy conservation. While we still have the warm weather I will be thankful instead of frantic; I will do my yoga outside at the weekends or meditate on phone-free walks in nature. The sun will be cherished while it’s here and not agonised when it’s gone. This is an intentional mindset shift, it won’t happen without the work, this year I am choosing not to fear the changing seasons and to embrace the inevitability; ready to roll with those atmospheric adjustments!
The happiest of new seasons to you all, and I hope you can also carry some light into these new days.
Love, love, love.
Tamara is the self-proclaimed Unqualified Blogger. She is a freelance Copywriter and Marketing Communications / Brand Strategist and Creative Generalist. She is available for speech writing, tattoo conventions and karaoke parties or would love to work with you on your latest marketing or creative challenges. Stay in touch on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or Contact her directly.