You can feel it in the air… and not just because you can smell the pumpkin spice lattes.
Where I live, the trees are slowly starting to change colours and drop their leaves, and the nights are getting pretty cool. I have always liked fall, despite its long association in my mind with going back to school. As the days get a bit shorter I am reminded that I don’t have to be rushing everywhere all the time; sometimes just strolling through the fallen leaves is exactly what I need to be doing right now.
The changing of the season can also be a great time to rethink and reorganize ourselves to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves. Here are a few things that might help in that journey:
Fall brings can bring a lot of changes into our lives. Besides the days obviously getting shorter and cooler, there are also more societal reasons that our schedule changes at this time of year. Kids may be back at school or work might have been different over the summer months. All of these changes mean now is a good time to think about your schedule: work, school, family, social events, sleeping, eating, all of it. Sometimes it can be a great idea to think about how you schedule your time as a way to reconnect with your priorities. If you aren’t finding time for the things that are important, how can you change that?
Part of this scheduling is thinking about the things that you want to do now. I enjoy apple picking and the cooler weather makes me want to bake and cook more, which often doesn’t happen as much during the warm summer months. Think about the things that you have perhaps put aside in the last little while that you would like to pick up again and try to find time for them as well.
Thanksgiving weekend can be a time to see family, enjoy the fall colours, bake pies, or any number of other traditions. It is also a time to think about the year that we have had and cultivate gratitude and thanks for the good things in our lives. However, because of how busy it might be it can be hard to remember that last part. Why not give yourself a week leading up to the holiday and take a little bit of time each day to think of something or someone that you are grateful for. Then, on the day, you can share some of your thoughts with the people around you or make the effort to reach out to people whom you thought of over the week.
Listen to the season, I say. I think that the shorter days and cooler weather are a great reminder that we aren’t designed to always travel at the same pace; we need time to slow down, have a look around, take stock, and mostly just give ourselves room and permission to relax. I know that I have spent large parts of the summer trying to fit too many things into too little time. So I take the season’s advice to ease up around this time of year. This slowing down can work well in conjunction with reconsidering our schedule. Part of prioritizing is making space for ourselves, whether that means taking time for our own hobbies and needs, to connect with loved ones in a relaxed way, or carve out time just for us to stop and be. Sometimes we all just need to slow down and take a break.
My colleague Lewis just wrote a blog post about his experience of having to take a break. It is a great reminder that we need to listen to our bodies when they tell us to slow down. And I think fall is sometimes nature’s way of gently reminding us that slowing down, taking stock, and taking a break can all be very good things. Hopefully, we don’t need a big winter snowstorm before we heed the advice.
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