Autumn Renewal: How to Turn the Season Into a Time of Personal Growth
Sunday, October 02, 2016
Like nearly everyone I know, my mother adores summer. While I detest the shimmering heat, my mom seems impervious to humidity, blissfully unaware that it's 104 degrees in the car, or that evening brings swarming mosquitoes. My mother (did I mention her birthday is July Fourth?) revels in firecrackers, fresh salads enjoyed on the patio, and nonstop travel to sunny destinations. When autumn comes and the garden withers, the first frost prompts her to get thee to Florida. I understand. Summer is a happy season, and it isn't that I don't appreciate it. I just think autumn has gotten a bad rap.
As children we lament going back to school, and perhaps it just becomes a habit to dread this time of year. But fall is so chock-full of goodness. Consider the clear, crisp days. Have you ever seen such blue skies? A cacophony of colors erupts – purples, reds, oranges, and gold – and the smell of the earth is rich. It's the time of year for bonfires and hayrides, getting your reading list in order, wearing snuggly sweaters, and crunching leaves beneath your feet.
Although the lazy days of summer and extra time spent with school-age children are over, there are so many fresh opportunities. It's a great time to get excited about the second half of the year and all of the things you resolved to do but haven't had time to do yet.
One writer said, “January resolutions are about will; September resolutions are about authentic wants.” What are your heart's desires, the things you push aside because you choose to do something practical instead? Perhaps this fall is the season to carve out a little time for following a dream. Why not?
Fall is also a great season to do “spring cleaning.” When the pressure's off to sanitize the house from top to bottom, it can actually be fun. It's the perfect time for window washing (which is more efficient without the summer heat that dries the glass too quickly), tidying the garden, and cleaning out closets as you move warmer clothes within easier reach.
Keeping that stress-free summer feeling is easy to do when you take advantage of the reflective essence of autumn, and count all of the blessings that you're harvesting. Remember the new health practices you adopted earlier in the year? You really do feel better these days – good for you! Focusing on the abundance in your life is also a part of the emotional renewal that can come in autumn.
The gifts we receive this autumn are as individual as we are. As the days shorten, perhaps the holiest habit some need to nurture is to get a good night's sleep. To achieve quality sleep, experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest limiting naps, getting plenty of exercise, and managing stress with happier thoughts and good belly laughs. Taking advantage of the crisp fall evenings may help too. Try lifting the window an inch for a cooler room to improve sleep quality. And remember, sometimes the most important battle for getting a good night's rest happens in your mind: having a relaxing ritual before bed can help, and if you don't begin to fall asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do another mellow task, and then return to bed when you feel calmer.
Article by Michele Deppe courtesy of Vibrant Life.