How to thrive in autumn
Lot, I thrive in autumn. Why? Beats me, but I feel alive when the leaves turn brown. Actually, yellow first. Then orange, burgundy and then brown. Even though the night falls earlier upon us, the sunlight is not that warm anymore and when I wake up at 6 am it’s dark outside, I don’t mind. Autumn has a special place in my heart.
They say show me your playlist and I will tell you who you are. Well, like I said, Spotify premium was the best decision in 2020! So, here you go: my official autumn playlist. Enjoy! Maybe my love for this season will make more sense… Plus – each paragraph was written to a different song and I will keep it up with this series.
And they say, she’s in the class A team
Stuck in her daydream, been this way since 18
I know how dangerous melancholy can be. And what better time to get melancholic than autumn? Long nights, warm tea with orange slices, coffee with spice (not only pumpkin!) and loud thoughts. Sometimes I let the anxiety win and I stress over things that are out of my control. Other times, I’m just… Numb. Or indifferent, which is equally harmful.
But this is absolutely fine – it’s a circle of life. Speaking of, I should watch The Lion King… Not the point though. Autumn is an ever-changing season. Just look at the trees – I’m sure there is at least one outside your bedroom window. Let’s do an experiment: observe it for a few days, weeks. And you will see just how it will change.
Just like your heart and soul will during this autumn time. I know it’s hard to remember, that this is a season that will pass. And so will the dark thoughts in your head and weight on your already heavy heat. So, this post is for all of us – strugglers – to help you survive. Or thrive, enjoy and maybe even fall in love with autumn?
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
’Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
I declare autumn a self-care season – full time mind & body SPA! How? Well. Two years ago on my birthday I got this awesome book from Monia (check her blog) called The 52 list project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal. With gifts like that, I am always waiting for the perfect opportunity, but also time. I hate starting something and then leaving it, because I don’t have the time. But I decided to make this autumn survival series for you lot, and there won’t be a better opportunity to keep it going.
This journal is divided into four seasons (so for sure I will continue making lists) and I think that kicking it off with cozy autumn will be amazing.
Second thing that I want to involve here will be This Is for You: A Creative Toolkit for Better Self-Care by Ellen M. Brad. Got this one this year for my birthday. Didn’t get the chance yet to look through it, but sounds amazing and very mature. Can’t wait to dig in!
So, how will it look? Every once in a while, I will do a few lists from the first book or/and exercises from the second. Hopefully, it will help me look at the bright (or brighter) side of things. I want to show you my journey with self-care and inspire you to pick up the glove. Autumn is tricky, but so damn beautiful…
And when I felt like I was an old cardigan
Under someone’s bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite
Today I want to start with two questions that are asked within the first pages of This Is for You: A Creative Toolkit for Better Self-Care. Please, do yourself a favor and answer them truthfully. I don’t need to know (not gonna lie – I wish I did, but hey. Safe space), but it will open your eyes, as it opened mine.
I told you once that when you say something out loud, it’s real. After all, that’s how our brain remembers effectively. By listening. By hearing.
Q: What does “self-care” mean to you?
A: Taking a break, listening to YOUR needs, making yourself feel good. With yourself as well.
Q: What excuses do you use to “avoid” self-care?
A: No time, I’m not that important, I can wait, it’s not that bad.
Ouch. Wow. I’m wondering why are we so harsh for ourselves? In the end of the day, that’s all we’ve got, right? Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and once again I realized how important it is to take a break and check in with yourself every once in a while. Especially during dark autumn times. It can get very lonely. I promised myself that I will be honest and won’t overthink my answers. Self-care is important, critical even. So, why are we making excuses?
I think that sometimes it is considered selfish – canceling plans to just get some rest, passing on a party, movie night or drinks to get some sleep… It shouldn’t be. After all, we know ourselves best. And you know what? I think that we all should accept autumn version of us; quite often it’s the “lowest” version. Let’s celebrate that! Be proud, that you are surviving another phase in this circle of life.
And what better way to celebrate than making sure, that you are safe and sound up in your head? By all means necessary, friend. Therapy, self-therapy with books (like I’m doing now), friends-therapy – whatever works for you. I’m your biggest fan and supporter, remember.
You think your days are ordinary
And no one ever thinks about you
But we’re all the same
And she can hardly breathe without you
Now, it is time to introduce the lists – this idea got me pretty excited. Let’s start with the first three, shall we? 😉 Oh, but first! Make yourself some tea, Darling. I am fully stacked for autumn, my team at work got me wonderful teas so I won’t be dry and hanging. Remember, there is no such thing like “too much tea”.
LIST 40 – MOOD-BOOSTING SONGS
Any questions about the autumn playlist, anyone? 😉 Told you it’s good! This is one of the things that calms me down, really. Creating playlists (based on my mood or needs), enjoying them and them doing a big “clean-up” because I was carried away with few tunes. Without further ado, here are my top mood-boosting songs with autumn vibe:
- OneRepublic – Feel again
- Imagine Dragons – Demons
- Ed Sheeran – Cold Coffee
- Keane – Sovereign Light Café
- Sia – Fire meet gasoline
- Bruno Mars – Just the way you are
- James Bay – Hold back the river
- Queen – I want to break free
- Queen, David Bowie – Under pressure
- David Bowie – Let’s dance
- Elton John – Crocodile rock
- Elton John – Bennie and the Jets
- Hall & Oates – You make my dreams (come true)
- The Weeknd, Daft Punk – Starboy
- Vance Joy – Saturday sun
- The Lumineers – Ophelia
- Black – Wonderful life
- Miley Cyrus – Malibu
Trust me, it was very tricky to list only 18 songs, but I think I did good? Well okay, I could probably squeeze in more, but my handwriting is quite extensive. I am trying though, for you lot to have no issues with decoding it. What songs are on your autumn list? Got you list? Awesome, now whenever you feel down, just listen to them!
LIST 41 – ALL OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT AUTUMN
- Sitting on my bed, wrapped in most fluffy blanket
- With dimmed lights
- Or candles
- Watching good films or TV shows
- Or reading books <3
- Walking “ankle deep” into leaves piles
- Hiding in bars, when rain is pouring outside
- COMFORT FOOD
- Cinnamon season
- Soft, warm socks always on
- Oversized hoodies and jumpers
- Quiet melancholy
- Writing is easier for me
- Movie nights totally justified
There are a lot of things I love about autumn – cinnamon in my coffee (SPICE MUST FLOW), rainy afternoons and evenings… Roasted pumpkin tastes so good. I think it’s hard for some people to find beauty in this season, and it’s even harder for me to explain why I love it so much. Now, a homework for you: plan a perfect autumn day. Like plan-plan: what will you wear, where will you go, what will you do? Got it? Great, now make it happen!
LIST 42 – ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL PEACEFUL
- Rain banging on the windows
- My phone turned off
- Tea changing the color of water
- Smell of coffee in the afternoon
- Movie nights
- Reading books in silence
- Listening to my friends discussing life
- Observing the world, while sipping coffee in my favorite café
- Going to the movies alone
- Morning runs
- Playing with my cats
- Watching films, I already watched
This one could go on and one, but I focused on things that make me feel calm during autumn. Humans are creatures of habits, right? The most important thing is to list those things and start doing them, whenever we feel like we’re losing it – control, grip, sane mind… Will you please give it a try?
Oh, in another place
In another time, what could we have been?
Lot, here is the thing – we all need to take care of ourselves more. And yes, I will say it one more time: ESPECIALLY IN AUTUMN. Now, who is with me? All in favor? Great, so get yourself a sweet, autumn kind of notebook, take a pen or pencil and start this self-care / list journey with me. Let’s support each other!
And who knows, maybe you will have some positive influence on you closest ones? If you feel better in your head, in your body and in your soul… It’s visible, trust me. People tend to ignore the numbness and silent signs, but I can see them. I’m sure that you can too. I see you.
For me, this past week was really hard – birthday blues, tons of work (sadly, this is only just beginning), cold creeping in (or settling down for good, right now it could be either). I felt tired, physically and mentally. Last night I finally felt… Better. Having gang over for a “party” was just what I needed. They are my “self-care” emergency protocol, for which I am forever grateful. This day actually made me like my birthday, especially considering the fact, that I was sharing them with my friend. Libras for life, thriving in autumn! Hey, lot? We’ve got this.
- BUY The 52 list project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration here: PL version, ENG version.
- BUY This Is for You: A Creative Toolkit for Better Self-Care here: PL version, ENG version