Autumn is officially here, and it’s not just the Equinox that can affect our mood and our energy.There’s more going on at this time of year, beyond the naturally occurring changes. The beginning of Autumn can be the time where it becomes harder to keep the lighter mood we often experience during the summer months. Gradually we start waking up to dull mornings, and our evenings feel shorter as it gets dark earlier each night. The cooler evenings often mean people spend more time at home, become less active and less sociable. This is also a time where there may have been family changes. Parents who have seen their young children start school, or older children leaving for university, leaving an ’empty nest’.
So how can you keep your spirits up as the nights get darker and cooler, and it feels hard to get out of bed on the dull mornings? Here are a few tips for staying positive and feeling good at this time of year.
Find the seasonal fun – There’s still lots to enjoy during the Autumn, if you have children or grandchildren this is a time for harvest festivals, collecting conkers, wrapping up warm and crunching through leaves. In fact you don’t need children for any of these things, let your own inner child out to play. (My husband accepts that when we’re out during autumn, I’ll be crunching through the leaves whenever I get the chance).
Be creative with Autumn – If you’re into art and craft, there are so many opportunities for seasonal ‘makes’, or you could join a class or workshop and make something Autumn-themed to brighten up your home. How about photography? You don’t need a high tech camera, just get outside with your smartphone and start snapping the gorgeous autumn colours. The fresh air will do you good too. In fact,while we’re on the subject of fresh air …
Get outside – It may be a little colder and breezier, but the benefits of getting outside far outweigh the challenges of the cooler weather. Wrapping up warm and getting outside is one of the best ways to lift a low mood, and raise your energy and motivation. Go to the park, walk round a lake or through the woods. Take a friend, take the kids, take the dog, or just walk on your own and enjoy the opportunity for some mindfulness as you take in the beauty of nature around you.
Be social – It’s easy to slip into the habit of just curling up on the sofa in front of the TV during the darker evenings, and there’s nothing wrong with that if this is your favourite way to relax, but take care not to isolate yourself. Even if you don’t want to get out and about in the evenings, which can feel like quite an effort when it’s dark and chilly, you could invite friends to visit or keep in touch with distant friends on Skype. If the dark evenings put you off going out, you could still meet up with friends during the day or on a weekend.
Be grateful – This isn’t for everyone, but practising daily gratitude can really help to keep you feeling positive. Try writing a gratitude list each morning, or just noticing things you are grateful for during the day. Keep your focus on the good stuff, and it helps to keep things in perspective.
I’d love to know what you enjoy about the Autumn, and what you’ll be doing to keep your mood positive as it gets darker and colder. Send me a message and let me know, or you could post it in the Love Your Life Facebook community, which you can join now if you haven’t joined already.
Enjoy your week, it’s still a bit sunny so let’s make the most of it.
Ruth Randall is a Life and Leadership Coach, and Team Development Specialist. Ruth works with teams to help them to build trust, develop strong working relationships, manage stress, and increase productivity and job satisfaction. She also coaches individual clients who want to make changes in their lives, careers and relationships.