We are just a couple of days away from the beginning of autumn. For autumnal people, this time of year brings lots of excitement. We begin to see the leaves change to wonderful colors of red, yellow, and orange. We slowly march towards October and the weather finally begins to get cooler. We have pumpkin spice in everything! It is time for football, picking out a Halloween costume, and preparing for the upcoming holidays.
However, this is also the time when many begin to feel the stress and anxiety of another year heading towards its end. We begin to see the days become shorter and darker. With the change in the weather, we spend less and less time outside; fewer cookouts, days at the swimming pool, or playing on the beach. These changes can be isolating. For many of us, these changes are reminders of the passage of time. Often, this is a season of reflection, of what has been and what we are saying good-bye to. It is also the season when, for many, the approaching holidays begin to bring anxiety. How will we get it all done? How will we face another holiday without a loved one who may no longer be with us? It can feel overwhelming.
Even those who enjoy autumn may share similar feelings. Change is never easy, and the change of seasons is a reminder of this fact in our lives. So what do you do about it? The answer is quite simple, but also something that challenges many of us. You practice self-care. You play! You make time to find the things that bring you joy. This is not the joy you receive by completing yet another task off of your to-do list. I am talking about the kind of joy that feeds your spirit. The joy that comes from inviting play into your life.
Remember, play is not just something for children. We all need a sense of fun and excitement in our lives.
So play and find that joy that makes you believe in yourself and feel that you can face the world. There are many places to find this joy, but each is unique to each of us. I encourage you, whether you look forward to the change of seasons or you find yourself already facing a sense of dread, to make time for you. And, if you need help doing this, always remember that you can find help in locating your joy. Other’s can help! That is nurturing… but more about that at a later time.