Embracing the Spirit of Autumn
We enter this fall season amid a sea of unknowns. This year, we may need more than pumpkin lattes and cozy scarves for comfort. It’s time to dive a little deeper—and the good news is autumn is the perfect season to do it! So get started embracing the spirit of autumn.
I have to admit that fall has never been my favorite season. I generally favor flip-flops and sundresses over boots and fluffy sweaters. But I’ve decided to look at fall a little bit differently this year—especially after a 9+ hour car ride home from dropping my son off at college for his freshman year, that provided a lot of time staring out the car window thinking about this transition.
What would normally be a major life shift felt all the more uncertain during a pandemic. I took several deep, calming breaths to quiet the noise in my mind and focused on appreciating the beautiful Midwestern scenery in front of me. As I took in the surrounding trees, it occurred to me that we are entering the ideal season to embrace change: autumn. The symbolism etched in the transformational nature of fall offers a universal lesson. Let’s step into this season by being open to the new, seeking comfort in uncertainty, and finding balance within ourselves—by embracing the spirit of autumn
IT IS A SEASON OF CHANGE
Autumn embodies a shift: the summer air turns crisp, and—in certain spots—leaves on trees showcase their fiery colors before being shed. The season is a reminder to embrace passing beauty in the present while being willing to let go. And if we can embrace seasonal changes around us, why not try to do the same with all the uncertainties in life? We can use this time to become more mindful of daily changes as we aim to appreciate what we can control and let go of what we cannot.
Begin by taking stock of what is important to you—be it relationships, your health or even the technology that helps us remain connected while we can’t be together physically. And let go of what is not. As you inventory the positives in your life, you’ll quickly begin to release negative thoughts. Simple grounding techniques, such as breathing exercises and thought switching, can keep your focus optimistic and in the present. Do this simply by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones to create the mental space for growth and happiness.
IT IS A SEASON OF COMFORT
Autumn brings soothing warm drinks and plush blankets. These material objects hold a certain contentment on their own—but what if we take comfort a step further? It’s important that we find a sense of ease within our homes. Many of us have been forced to pivot from working in an office to working where we live. Whether your current workspace is a spare bedroom or simply one end of the kitchen table, it serves its purpose—because it has to. But as the boundaries between work and life become increasingly blurred, it’s more important now than ever to nurture a space at home where we feel comfortable, connected, and secure.
You’ll want a space full of positive vibes. Clearing out the clutter to arrange an ideal “nest” is a good start and will make your space Zoom-ready. Consider repurposing some cute cups or feel-good mugs as storage for pens, paper clips and other knick knacks that might otherwise be scattered around. Set up comfortable, soft lighting to lift your mood without straining your eyes. You can also choose a few pretty plants—real or faux—with fall like hues to bring life into your space. Finally, don’t forget a cozy throw to combat the impending chill and a soothing scented candle for instant calm.
IT IS A SEASON OF BALANCE
Autumn represents a contrast of warm weather and cool, less light and more darkness. After creating comfortable spaces in our homes, as we move through the season, we’ll be tempted to stay in, almost as if hibernating like many animals do. It’s important to fight the urge, at least some of the time.
Attend to your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Venture outside for exercise and fall activities. Indoors, try to establish or maintain boundaries through set work hours and take time for yourself each day to unplug. Self-reflect as you dive into an inspiring book, listen to a podcast, or enjoy your favorite music… whatever it takes to help you slow down and lose yourself in the comforts of your home.
Let’s embrace the spirit of autumn with open arms, minds, and hearts. This is the season to revitalize your soul and prepare to emerge as a better person, both when standing alone and united together. Let the leaves fall where they may; we’ve got this!
DeDe Hallerman, MSW has created a soulful approach to supporting clients who face challenges and decisions, using an insightful and mindful problem-solving technique. She is a graduate of New York University with her MSW and a Certified Professional Coach. She has been trained and certified by Katherine Woodward Thomas, best-selling author of Calling in “The One” and Conscious Uncoupling. DeDe is also trained in MBRS.