5 Steps towards a Happier Autumn.

5 Steps towards a Happier Autumn.

I think the turn of the year is never more marked and obvious than in September. 

For some it is a sad time, farewelling the long summer days and maybe even an annual summer holiday with the family, and the beauty of quality time away from the routines and stresses of everyday life.
Autumn showcases in all of its russet glory, like a fresh watercolour painting each morning, changing day by day.
Entire trees becoming more amber, copper and flaxen in shades, nearly as fast as the light draws in and shortens these days.

However, when that melancholy begins to set in and we look ahead to the many months of the temperature dropping quickly and staying low over a long period of time. Those dark mornings and early nights can play havoc on our emotions and serotonin levels.

I have lived in the northern hemisphere (from sunny Australia) for four years now.
And I have to be honest, the first two Autumn and Winters were rough. Very rough. I really felt the affects of a lack of sunshine and Vitamin D.
I was cold. All of the time. And I was pretty miserable and lonely.

But a friend of mine changed everything around for me one day when she spoke of the beauty of each new season, particularly Autumn, with its promise of fresh beginnings.
To look at September and the following months as bringing an enjoyable sense of purpose and also finality to the year.
To not dread those months but welcome their abilities to change our routines and bring us fresh joy.

These are the five things that helped me to shift my perspective on the dreaded blahs:

1.   Rug up and get outdoors. Catch those weak sun rays and marvel in the icy coldness of those wispy puffs of breaths and your moving body.    

2.  Treat yourself to pretty wellies or walking boots and go and pick all of those luscious colourful leaves.

3.  Move forward with a quieter purpose, appreciating the small things in life (a strong coffee, warm, sticky chocolate cake).

4.  Maintain a sense of mindfulness and draw your family near. Find a new board or card game to tackle on those dark nights. Enjoy the togetherness.

5.  Build community. Maybe someone who you know is having a hard time as well. Mutual support and shared experiences can make the world of difference.

These were an absolute game-changer for me.
Now for us, as a family who embrace slow living and adore the change of seasons, this particular Autumn has become one of excited anticipation.

Happy warmth, instead of dread, is now the the first feeling that invades my soul when the calendar ticks over to September.

Some of the things we now view as traditions when Autumn arrives are the warmth of pumpkin spiced lattes, foraging through fields looking for firewood to be made into little bundles of kindling, tied with pretty ribbon, and stored in a big wicker basket by the fire.
We bake gingerbread cookies just for the enticing smell of spice and a hint of Christmas promise around the corner.
We bring out the snuggly and chunky knitted rugs and a whole host of beautifully scented candles to be lit when the sun sinks behind the horizon quite early in the afternoon.
We make sure that warming suppers are ready on time so we can all sit together, eat and share.
New card games are taught and played late into the night on the weekends, whilst sharing too many cups of tea and frothy hot chocolates.
And we cuddle our sweet fluffy cats, often found curled into tight little balls of delight, languishing in a random sun trap or secret space by the open fire.

I read this inspiring quote today which says:
‘You don’t have to blow your own trumpet to be heard. You can just whisper – sometimes to yourself’ (Quercus)

Keep is simple.
Have a quiet purpose, and
Appreciate the small things in life.

Because it’s the small things that really matter.

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