This time of year, as the days get shorter and our workloads seem heavier than ever, we become more susceptible to seasonal affective disorder, seasonal depression, and in turn negative self-talk. Those of us who battle depression year-round are especially likely to feel lower as the daylight hours decrease and the leaves begin to fall. I’ve felt this year after year. As the evenings become darker earlier, I find myself eager to get home and just cozy up on the couch. I skip yoga classes, and say no to plans with friends. Meals sometimes become secondary, as does my sleep schedule and my morning routine. I’m lucky to get out of the house with two matching shoes and a cup of coffee some days.
The good news is, if we know the shorter days and colder weather are coming, we can prepare and decide to have a really happy, festive Fall.
To help, I’m committing the first Friday of each month through the end of 2018 to seasonal well-being and joy-seeking! These tips will include activities, podcasts, books, music, essential oils, and more!
October is a funny time of year. The Christmas decorations are waiting just behind the silly Halloween decor in every store, holiday plans are beginning to be made amongst families, and yet nothing is really happening yet. You may be one of the courageous adults who has already picked out their Halloween costume and bought tickets for some big party downtown, but since you’re reading my blog I sort of doubt that.
Here are 13 ways to add joy to your October and combat your anxiety along the way.
Pretty candles and sweet little decorations can make an easy, cheap, and festive centerpiece, that will make you actually want to gather around the table.
I grabbed three small velvet pumpkins from the dollar spot at Target, and a bright blue candle (also from Target, obviously) to put my centerpiece together. I spent about $10 and used other pretty things I had to create a sweet, autumnal table. You don’t have to go over the top to get a festive feel with a rich look.
2. Spend a Saturday baking:
Whatever you like to make, or maybe you just like to eat and you’ve never made it yourself before, this is the season to have at it. Find a new recipe, or maybe ask relatives for that old family classic, and commit to a morning of good music and warm coffee while you bake. Here are a few of my favorite fall baking recipes:
3. Read something witchy:
I’m an avid reader, and one of the ways I channel different feelings and contentment is through my choice of books. For this time of year, I highly recommend A Discovery of Witches, the first in a trilogy about a female scholar, working hard to be taken seriously in her highly academic study of historical alchemy. She’s studying in Oxford when her magical power begin to be too much to ignore, and she finds herself in the middle of an impending battle over powers she cannot understand on her own.
I have also heard wonderful things about The Silver Witch. I haven’t read it, but it has been on my to-read list for a while, and I think this month will be the perfect time to scratch it off!
4. Plan a movie night:
Remember the good old 13 Nights of Halloween? Well this year, they’ve bolstered their lineup to a full 31 days. Check out the lineup here, or just pick an old favorite like Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown. Cuddle up, make a bag of popcorn, and grab the biggest blanket in the house. Sometimes a quiet night with a familiar flick is just what you need to feel joyful, centered, and grounded.
5. Diffuser Blend:
Many of you know, one of my favorite ways to control my surroundings is by diffusing essential oils. I use and sell DoTerra oils, and I would be happy to talk with you anytime if you have more questions about using oils. For this time of year, I recommend diffusing a blend of Cassia & Wild Orange, two drops of each. This blend of cinnamon and citrus will fill your house with mouth-watering aromas, perfect for the chilly weather. Contact me to get these oils.
If you start to feel down, or stuck, or just tired no matter how much sleep you’re getting, turn to your journal and write about the changes you feel happening emotionally for you as the leaves change around us.
7. Take a different approach to lingerie:
Spend your nights at home wearing an over-sized flannel and big, cozy socks or slippers. It’s like Risky Business with a seasonal flair.
8. Meditate in the chilly night air:
You know those cold, dark nights when you can smell the wind blowing and someone’s fire roaring a few miles away? Pick the perfect night. Bundle up in your coziest gear (make sure you put socks on), grab a blanket to sit on/in, and pick a quiet spot outside to meditate in the evening air. Free your mind of your to-do list, and catalog all the things you can smell, hear and feel. Breathe, and be grateful for all that surrounds you.
9. Make dinner in the crock-pot!
Put together a yummy, quick recipe in the crock-pot for a low-stress and high-reward dinner. Below are a few of my go-to favorites.
10. Trick Or Treat:
Put some time & thought into trick-or-treat preparation. Get your favorite treats to hand out and maybe a festive bowl to put them in. Grab an easy and obvious costume – like a witches hat or cat ears! It’ll keep the kids smiling and make answering the door that much more fun!