2020 has thrown us all into chaos, with the unwelcome arrival of a pandemic, that brought with it the heightened emotion of fear, the unknown and the resistance to change.
We have all been impacted by this, in a variety of ways no matter what background you come from and where you are located.
There have been many major adjustments to our normal behaviour patterns. Whether that’s daily routines, work and family life plus the disruption to our social lives, getting together with friends, family members and making travel plans. This has left many of us, feeling confused, fatigued and frustrated. As human beings we like to be able to plan ahead, having those special events marked on our calendars to look forward to.
This situation has challenged our mental wellbeing in a variety of ways and as we transition into Autumn, we will need to find some balance between the seasonal shifts and the constantly evolving corona virus situation.
Autumn signals change, the time of year for harvest, changes in temperature, receding hours of daylight and the trees flaunting their bursts of colour before shedding their leaves. It highlights that life is cyclical in nature and that it is a time to take stock of where we are, to slow down, to be thankful for all we have and to appreciate how far we have come throughout the year. A time to reflect and pause and plant seeds of intention for the coming months.
To help us manage these challenges, here are 10 tips to maintain a healthy outlook.
When we feel anxious, we breathe more shallow and rapid, this only exasperates the problem. Try this for 5 minutes a day.
Take time to sit in a quiet space, bring your full attention to your breath, take a full inhale and a full exhale filling the lungs on the inhale and completely emptying the lungs on the exhale expanding the abdomen on the inhale and releasing the air on the exhale. Continue repeating this for 5/10 breaths then add a small pause at the top of the inhale and a small pause at the bottom of the exhale. Repeat this for another 5/10 breaths. Take a moment to notice how you feel. Try to fit in at least 5 minutes a day you will gradually find it easier to focus on breathing properly and feel a state of calm. You can try practicing this when you are in a queue or at your desk.
Meditation is a wonderful way to bring calm and clarity to your day, when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. If you struggle to sit in silence to meditate, you can listen to guided meditations on your devices. This is a good way to start a meditation practice until you get used to sitting in this way. Try thisfor 5/10 minutes a day
Meditation practice usually starts with focus on the breath once you are sitting comfortably. The breathing exercise above can be used in your meditation to bring your attention inwards. Most people struggle with the mind wandering away from your object of focus. That is natural, it highlights your awareness of the mind chatter, just keep bringing your attention back to the breath. Meditation help us through transformation.
Allow some time to move in your day, whether it’s an exercise class, i.e. yoga, spin or an outdoor sport, whether its 10 minutes or an hour or two. There are plenty of options to choose from, gyms and studio’s or online live or pre recorded classes.
Play some of your favourite music, during your meditation, or exercise, put on your headphones whilst doing house hold chores, you will feel more motivated and the tasks will be more enjoyable too. Music can affect your emotions and help you to feel more positive.
This can link in with the above tip when playing music, take the opportunity to have a shake out of the body and dance around the house or anywhere you feel comfortable too, just move your body and let yourself flow, notice how you feel afterwards. I guarantee you will feel great and have a smile on your face.
6. Get Out in Nature:
This is one of my favourites, I love to be close to nature. Try and spend some time outside in green spaces every day. Whether you walk, run, cycle, climb, swim or sit. Wrap up warm and enjoy connecting with nature, it will help you to feel grounded and calm, filling your lungs with fresh air and helping you gain a greater perspective on life.
Rituals help us consciously form positive habits and structure in our daily lives, providing a sense of meaning and purpose in an ever changing world. They offer an opportunity for healing and expression, for honouring special moments in our day or calendar and for co creating our reality, Rituals connect us with nature and the seasons and show us how we are a part of a much grander design. Here are 3 rituals to get you started and you can add in as many as you feel called to.
a; Gratitude; an underestimated and immensely empowering ritual, take time to notice and appreciate all the big and small things in your daily life, this will help create a more positive mindset.
b; write down the important tasks that you need to achieve in your day, ones that support your long term goals and are aligned to your purpose or passions. This will help to bring your goals to fruition.
c; Stand or walk barefoot on the grass in the morning dew for several minutes,This is my current favourite morning ritual! it is exhilarating, grounds you and gives you the chance to be thankful for the abundance of nature around you.
8. Seasonal Foods:
Eating the foods that nature provides during Autumn, is better quality will give you better nutrition, a richer flavour and help to nourish the body against the colder weather. Its more environmentally friendly to purchase organic fruits and vegetables grown in your local community if possible. Eat these Autumn fruits and vegetables; pumpkins, squash, savoy cabbage, carrots, parsnips, apples, blackberries and pears.
This is one of the tips I need to follow every Autumn and Winter.
Take time to slow down a bit more in the Autumn, as nature slows down, so should we. Our energy levels drop as the amount of daylight hours reduce. It’s important to get to bed a little earlier to maintain your energy levels throughout this season. If you have the opportunity get a power nap mid afternoon, that can help you keep going through the rest of the day
Make time to relax, try to find some time to relax, get cosy, with a hot drink and a comfy place to sit, whether that means reading, watching a movie that’s fun or uplifting, or get creative, drawing , painting, sewing, knitting, doing puzzles or any of the above.
I hope this blog, helps you find balance and ways to navigate the current situation and the changing seasons.
I’d love to hear how you get on, message me on firstname.lastname@example.org Autumn blessings of wellness.