Ah, autumn in New York. What a great season. The air is turning crisp, bringing some much-needed relief from a hot, sticky summer. The leaves are changing color, the apples taste sweeter, the scent of pumpkin spice is in the air – it’s a beautiful time of year…for some.
For others, fall signifies the end of a summer of vacation, fun, family time, rest and rejuvenation, and the beginning of “crazy-busy.” The kids are back in school, fall sports are in full swing, college students have their noses to the grindstone once again, work is revving up, the days are getting shorter, the holidays are right around the corner. The hustle and bustle of fall comes on strong and sudden – and it can be pretty overwhelming.
The good news, there are ways to make the transition to autumn less overwhelming and more enjoyable.
Here are 3 tips for transitioning to fall (without going crazy):
1. Schedule regular check-ins with yourself.
The basic idea here is accountability. Ask any successful person or great leader, and they will agree that accountability is one of the main pillars of their success. This is true for any aspect of life: business, spirituality, relationships, health – you name it.
Now, let me be clear: the point of accountability is not to punish oneself for not being perfect. Rather, the point of accountability is to evaluate where you are and how you are doing, and set realistic goals going forward. It’s about monitoring your progress and making adjustments as needed to set yourself up for success.
If you can do it daily, fantastic – but we realize life is busy and that may be tough to stick with. So, at the beginning and end of each week, have a check-in meeting with yourself (or, better yet – someone else!) and evaluate the following:
- whether you’re staying on track with everything you want to accomplish
- your mood, how you’re feeling
- whether you are giving yourself enough time to achieve your goals and tasks
- what you need to change this next week to better manage stress, workload, school work, etc.
2. Find what helps you…and do it.
Exercise and meditation are proven techniques to help manage stress and clear away the mental and emotional “clutter” that can prevent you from tackling that “to do” list and being effective in work, school, relationships, and daily life. Meditation especially calms the brain and helps you focus better, while exercise releases chemicals into your bloodstream which improve your mood, energy levels, and ability to focus.
(Exercise and meditation are also proven techniques to help manage depression. Click here to read more.)
What is your [healthy!] habit that calms your brain? Prayer, meditation, yoga, kickboxing, jogs or walks in the park, cooking, reading, blogging, art – find your outlet and practice it regularly!
Don’t know how to meditate? It’s easy! Find somewhere private and peaceful. Turn off any distractions, such as TV, radio, and phone. (Outside noise, such as a neighbor’s lawnmower or a dog barking are fine and will not disturb your meditation as long as you do not allow those sounds to dominate your thoughts.)
Sit quietly and comfortably for a minimum of 5 minutes per day, close your eyes, and just let your thoughts come and go.
Decide on a time to meditate and try to stick to the same time every day. Also determine how long you wish to meditate, be it 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes (or anywhere in between). Set a gentle alarm if you wish.
3. Embrace the change.
A positive outlook will get you a long way in life. Change is hard, but it’s also inevitable, so one of the best ways to get through it is to anticipate its coming, accept it, and look for the silver lining! With change comes the opportunity to better yourself, for relationships to blossom, for you to learn more, for you to master skills in work and school, and to have new adventures!
If you’re having trouble coping with the transition to fall and think you may suffer from depression, anxiety, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which commonly begins in the fall, call my office. I can help!