I’ve always loved autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. The colors, the scents, the warm days and cool nights envelop me as if I were a child wrapped in a comforting hug with my parents.
My husband and I got married in October amid a bright blue sky and orange, red, and gold leaves. Some of my favorite pictures of our son were taken in the fall with the glistening mountains as a backdrop.
This year, the approach of fall feels different to me; most likely due to quarantine. Rather than the typical back to school planning and excitement, we shopped for supplies and new clothes online. Rather than packing lunches and backpacks, we stocked the pantry with healthy snacks. Rather than meeting his new teachers and new classmates in person, he sat at the dining room table and looked at small rectangles of some familiar, but mostly unfamiliar faces.
Obviously, so much has changed since the beginning of quarantine. The normal rhythm of our lives has been temporarily shifted, but it is up to each of us how we choose to respond.
Initially, quarantine may have felt relaxing for you as all of the hustle and bustle came to a screeching halt. However, as the novelty wore off, you may have found yourself craving social interaction, going out to eat, shopping, and celebrating life’s milestones with family and friends.
As we prepare to enter a new season, how can we move forward with ease, gratitude, and hope?
First, I think it can be beneficial to look back over the last several months and acknowledge yourself for every accomplishment small and large. For instance, you may not have written the great American novel (or perhaps you did, and if so Congratulations!!), but perhaps you began working on your poetry book. You may not have redecorated or remodeled your entire house, but you may have cleaned out your basement and made room for more living space. Or you may not have run that marathon you were training for, but you walked in a charity walk, supporting a cause that is close to your heart.
Next, I believe it is healthy to acknowledge and mourn what you have lost during this time. Some of you may have lost loved ones. If that is you, I am so incredibly sorry. I send you my most sincere condolences and prayers. Some of you may have lost jobs, graduation ceremonies, or precious time with the people closest to you.
It’s okay to feel sad, frustrated, and angry about how this period in history was not what you planned or hoped for. Perhaps you can journal about your feelings to get them out of your head. If you don’t like journaling, record them in your phone or talk to a trusted friend or family member so that you aren’t holding on to negative energy.
One thing that can help you to accept the present and move forward is practicing gratitude. Research has shown that practicing gratitude actually positively rewires our brain. While expressing gratitude, our brain releases two neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for improving or enhancing our mood. I always say that no matter how difficult a situation may be, there is always something for which we can express gratitude.
Finally, I believe it’s important to look forward with optimism and hope.
- What do you want to be different about the upcoming months? Your attitude? Your eating habits? Your exercise routine?
- How do you want to feel? Energized, confident, patient?
- What will you do to ensure that happens even if current circumstances persist? Having a plan and having someone hold you accountable is key for your success.
In nature, autumn is the time of year when days become shorter and cooler, trees lose their leaves, and crops are harvested. This clearing prepares the earth for winter (a time of going inward), which is followed by the rebirth of spring. Perhaps you can view autumn as a time to release and clear away anything and everything that is holding you back from living the life you want. Consider letting go of whatever isn’t serving your highest self so that you can move forward with confidence and create a life you love.
If I can support you on your health and wellness journey, schedule a time when we can chat. It would be my privilege to walk alongside of you and help you achieve your goals.
Let me know how you plan to transition from the last days of summer to fall and what you are looking forward to the most.
Have a blessed day!