I’ve been sucked in by Autumn. It’s true. The season is an absolute vortex, you know it too, don’t you (luckily not of the polar variety that we had last winter…)?
On one hand, I love fall; the colors, the crisp air, the rustling of leaves (that I no longer have to rake!) and all things pumpkin-flavored make it one of my favorite season. But I have to admit — there’s a looming melancholy that accompanies it.
Like a lot of folks, I don’t deal all that well with the decreasing amount of sunlight (especially these past few weeks, where rain and cloudy skies have been the norm) and find myself losing motivation. And more than that — while I hesitate to call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it definitely messes with my mood. It isn’t too too well known, but depression is present in my family tree and it has hit me as well. I’ve dealt with it — therapy and meds — and am doing really well, but this time of year always makes me rethink my state of mind.
Part of it is simply a strong desire to take stock of where I’m at and where I need to go. A slowing down of activity and, in some ways, the moment for a fresh start as well. It’s like it’s time to simplify my life and slip into hibernation mode with a clean slate. Does that make any sense? I’m not even sure it makes sense to me, either. I want to grab hold of the last of the nice weather and make the most of our time together, but then I want to be ready for all the comforts of winter: good books to read, sleepy dogs to snuggle with and hot drinks to sip and warm my hands with.
I will say that I’m managing better than usual. More than anything, I’ve got a mindfulness about myself that’s been invaluable. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m absolutely certain of some facts: sweat removes more than salt from my body. Nutritious, healthy food nurtures my soul. Music, books and downtime heal and soothe my spirit. And as much as hibernation is oh so necessary for my mental health, I also need to nourish my social side so it survives intact until Spring.
And so, I keep on keepin’ on. It’s more of a challenge, but I’m doing it and will continue to fight the good fight (cliché much?). Practicing simplicity in as many parts of my life as possible: sleep, wake up, breathe, be grateful for the breathing, be productive, train hard, eat whole foods, relax and rest. It’s that easy.