Wow, this post has been on my mind since August! I cannot believe summer is gone, Canadian Thanksgiving has passed; blissful, hot summer nights have been exchanged for colourful, autumn days. Autumn, back to school, and the changing of seasons got me thinking. I was thinking how autumn gets a bad name; we think of plants and trees dying, harsh winter coming, and for many of us it is back to the office and back to the classroom.
But what if instead of looking at this through a negative lens we switched and looked through a positive lens? Nature puts the plants to sleep so they can go through a rebirth after a winter of hibernation. School starts and it is a chance to stretch and grow your mind. And winter, well what if you looked forward to it, instead of dreading it?
To me, fall is a time to take chances, to take calculated risks, both in training and in life, an opportunity to reflect, so that next spring I can blossom once again better and brighter than the year before. What have I done this fall to take chances? I have relaunched my website thanks to the lovely, hard-working Jillian Murphy, and I have resigned by blog. I’m experimenting a little bit in my training. And I’m getting ready to write my comprehensive exams; a 5-day take-home, written exam followed by an oral exam (yikes!); it’s a necessary step in my PhD program. And instead of dreading the exam, I’m really looking forward to the challenge and how it will stretch my brain. (It is November 7-11 & 17th, so please send me all your positive, brainy vibes during that time).
Reflection. I spent a good chunk of time in August doing that. But I did start a daily reflection journal. A journal that logs my hours of sleep, how I ate, generally how I’m feeling, but one that I write about something I did that day. It might be something I learned. Something I thought was awesome. Someway for me to do better if I got the opportunity again. A chance for me to write at night whatever might be on my mind.
Oh winter, you say I forgot winter. Winter in Canada can be harsh; it’s cold, it’s dry, it’s dark. But what if you embraced that? Figured out an activity you loved to do in the snow, and found some friends to do it with. Found some books you wanted to read, fiction and non-fiction that you set as targets to get through on the cold, snowy days.
What I suggest you try to reframe your Autumn?
- Change up your activity: go for a hike, rent a bike and go cruise around your city…do something to explore your city with a friend. Leave indoor training for now, there will be enough time for that in the winter
- Head to your local market or farmers market and pick up some fresh, local food. Make a meal for your family and friends, put away the electronics and enjoy each other’s company.
- Try setting a night-time routine to help you sleep better: Sleep is a secret-weapon. Put your electronics away at least one hour before bed, turn the TV off, grab a fiction book, and get ready for the best sleeps of your life.
- Find a winter activity and start getting prepared for it. Will you buy or rent equipment? Do you have the clothing you might need?
- Start a log book or journal. Set aside 2 minutes, (yes, you only need 2 minutes) and reflect on how you were awesome that day
- Carve out space in your day to be more active. Maybe you only can find five minutes here and there, but that’s enough. Turn off your work or school brain and climb some stairs, leave the building and go for a walk, do some simple stretches at your desk. Trust me, you’ll be so much more productive for it.