Happy Fall. Last week, the season arrived in all its beauty. And now, as Autumn sets in we are called to check in with ourselves and see how we feel about this change of seasons. Summer is over — and it always feels a bit bittersweet as the long, languid, hot days recede for another year. Summer always feels like the shortest of the seasons. Of course every season is actually equal in time and length, but how we feel it is often different.
I know for many summer is the golden season. Light and heat and vacation time. What could be better? The weekends click on by and here we are at the beginning of Autumn. My Grandmother always used to say, “Once it’s 4th of July, summer is over!” Wait, what? Is it that fast? I always think on the actual 4th of July that there is no way that is the case, but here we are and I remember the 4th of July like it was a moment ago.
Autumn. It is a beautiful time of year as the trees shed their leaves, the holidays are ushered in, the cold nights and smokey air descends, and, of course, the Canadian Geese are making their way south for the winter. I think many of us would like to catch their flight south and keep the summer sunshine and warmth going. Many are noticing that they are slowing down, not having as much energy, and, as the dark descends, there is less light to be productive.
People are beginning to pull out their “happy lamps” to sit in front of during these dark mornings to give them their extra energy and are trying to figure out other strategies to stave off SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a type of depression that correlates to the Autumn and Winter seasons when a lack of light can move someone to a depressed state.
What are some strategies to help alleviate SAD symptoms? Here are a few:
Use a Happy Lamp – buy a light that you can bathe in throughout the day that emits a certain type of light to help give one energy.
Think about your natural energy rhythms and go with the flow of your own body. If you have more energy in the morning or the middle of the day or night, use it to its max. It may not be the normal way you organize your day, but changing it up to alleviate seasonal depression feels important.
What are your hobbies? Make sure to make time for them – reading, making stuff, cooking, baking, writing, and more. Give yourself even more of the things that make your life meaningful.
Head to bed early. If it is dark and you are tired, give in and enjoy your rest. This feels important although many of us feel pressure to stay up until our regular bedtime.
Enjoy this season. Autumn is a time pumpkin patches, jumping in leaves, pumpkin spice drinks, hikes, apple picking and more. Celebrate the season by noticing the high end of the time and enjoying it – fully.
Each year Autumn comes around – perhaps sooner than you would like – but here we are so be in it as Autumn settles in. Be present and attune not only to yourself, but to where Mother Nature takes us this time of year.