As summer comes to a close, the days shorter and the nights crisp and cool, I can’t help but reflect on how the transition into a new season can mark transition in our own lives. There is nothing like the literal change of the season to invoke figurative, or literal, change for us. Noticing how easily the trees would let go of their leaves made me wonder, can we let go of things this easily? This reminds me of how difficult it can be to let go, and how uncomfortable change can be.
Maybe for you this time of year is one of stress, the goodbye of relaxing time spent with friends and family at cottages or in backyards, and the start of a busy new school year. Maybe this season marks sadness, the crisp air and cool nights nights a reminder that colder and darker days lie ahead. Or, this transition is a time of calmness; gratitude, scarves, sweaters and pumpkin spice everything! Or, maybe you have never actually stopped to reflect on how the transition of the seasons brings change for you.
Whatever the case may be I invite you to reflect on what you may be willing to change.
Fall doesn’t come and go quietly. It’s incredibly difficult to not be aware of the transition and change in the scenery around us. The vibrant oranges, deep yellows and fiery reds of the leaves, the inviting smell of cinnamon and spice floating in the air of coffee shops, bakeries and our kitchens. As we focus outwards on all the changes, are we aware or mindful of the changes happening in our own lives? Are we aware of the stress that rises as we move back into a routine of early mornings and late night study sessions? Are we mindful of the disruption in balance that comes from a new school year, or a busy and demanding business venture? Are we able to recognize what our needs are, what our body requires, or have we become more focused on the needs of our children, friends and family as the holiday season is upon us? Before we know it we have often become robots in our own lives. We move through the motions of day-to-day, disconnected from how this change has impacted us. Not allowing us to appreciate how beautiful change could be. I invite you to reflect on how this change is impacting you. Does it bring you calm, peace and purpose? It begs the question, are we as mindful of how our own transitions have impacted us, as we are how the season has impacted the landscape?
Change is inevitable. As uncomfortable, or exciting, it may be we cannot control it. So why not move with it. As the trees change color and lose their leaves I reflect on what we could let go of, or be mindful of changing. Maybe it’s how we speak to ourselves during stressful times of the school year. Maybe it’s how we take care of ourselves, with the knowledge that self-care and self-nurturing behaviors are as important as eating, breathing and sleeping. Can we let go of the endless to-do lists and need for productivity? What can we change that will bring us calmness, happiness and connection to ourselves?
As a health care professional I am constantly reminded of the importance of balance, especially during periods of change. I have the privilege of supporting others through times of change every day. As such, I recognize the importance of caring for self during transition as key to successfully accepting change. As I invite you to reflect on what you can change, or let go of this season, I encourage and support you in reflecting on your own self-care habits. I wonder how changes in how we care for ourselves may bring change in other areas of our lives.
Finally, as you read and reflect on how this fits for you, please remember that the beautiful season of Fall wouldn’t exist without CHANGE.