Farewell summer, Hello Autumn! 7 Ways to Transition into the New Season
I used to find autumn and winter quite depressing but I’ve managed to shake it and now I quite enjoy moving into the different seasons. So I want to share some soul-lifting mood management, demystify our negative thinking and help us start to see ourselves and our possibilities differently.
As I mentioned in July, our external world only predicts 10% of our happiness. A whopping 90% of happiness is dictated by how our brain processes the external world – in other words, the stories you tell ourselves about what’s happening around you. I’ve spent years studying this and curating evidence to show that we CAN change our mental state more quickly than we think.
Our thoughts are a result of our values and beliefs and they are the cause of our constant mind chatter. We all adopt unique thinking patterns and they make us who we are, it often makes us successful too, but sometimes they stop us from moving forward or changing things we want to. Just because we think a thought, it doesn’t make it true. But we act like our thoughts are the truth.
The autumn ahead of you doesn’t have to look bleak! Yes, there are no more bank holidays before Christmas, yes, there’s a LOT of work to do and no, maybe you don’t have any sunny holidays planned but there are MANY things you can do to populate the next 3 -4 months with things that make you happy and give you a chance to lighten your mood.
See your autumn differently:
1. Make a list of 5 things you love to do. Be more honest about what makes you tick and next to each item on your list, write all the reasons why you probably won’t be doing them this autumn. Now look at it again. Really? Are those reasons good enough? How does it make you feel? When I do this I usually feel more motivated to make them actually happen. Choose 2 that you will commit to and take 1 action on each to make them a real possibility (research, booking a class, buying something you need for them).
3. Take a train to somewhere you’ve never been. It doesn’t have to be far, somewhere within an hour or two that warrants a day trip (combined with a favourite activity when you get there). Take a friend or a good book along with you. Or if you’re able to, absolutely book a weekend somewhere sunny – it’s the best way to break up the winter. For the last 5 years I only travelled in winter, saving all my holiday days for then (until I set up my own business) because I learned that’s what my mind and my body needed!
4. Stimulate and inspire your thinking. What do you want to learn more about? What’s stopping you trying? Take up a class, search for TED talks and watch one each day over your morning coffee.
5. MOVE more! If your job and commute don’t allow it, prioritise some form of physical activity at the weekends. It’s not new advice for sure, but an hour’s walk WILL always clear your head and it WILL send ideas your way. We all know endorphins and dopamine are released into our body when we’re more active, this is like a direct line to your own personal happy drugs – capitalise on them!
6. Buy a SAD lamp if you suffer from SAD (seasonal adjustment disorder). When I lived in London and Canada, I had a Lumie one for years and I SWORE by it. The lamp’s light works by coming on gradually an hour before your alarm. It physiologically wakes you from a deep sleep and brings you gently to a lighter sleep, so by the time your alarm goes off you’re almost ready to wake up anyway.
7. Change your timeline. Is there something you’re planning for a New Year’s resolution? Maybe you don’t do them but in general people tend to start stuff in the new year because it feels like a good time to do so. Well, here’s my last tip: try changing your timeline. Want to get fit, feel healthier, start meditating, save money, change your job, etc.? Why not change your start date to one in October or November instead of January? Especially if you want to be healthy, don’t wait until after all those Christmas parties and Christmas puddings(!) to THEN try to get healthy – it just makes the job harder.
Got any thoughts of your own? How do you keep your days sunny? We’d love to hear your thoughts so we can all borrow them!!