Whew, summer sure was an active time. Backyard gatherings, festivals, travels… this time is usually full of activity and social output. Depending on where you are in the Northern hemisphere, I’m sure you’re feeling the chill in the air these days. The mornings are crisp and the night creeps on a lot faster than it did last month. Autumn is here and darkness is descending. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself turning into a bit of a homebody.
It is completely natural and OKAY to slow down and unwind.
In fact, a lot of people actually have a hard time with this transition. In today’s culture, we find that our worth is typically measured by our productivity. It’s not just our “work first” cultures that apply this pressure, we’ve internalized it and do it to ourselves.
Being busy has become the status quo and when we get stuck in that mindset it can be hard to slow down.
If we do manage to slow down and take a little ‘me time’, it can often be accompanied by feelings of guilt or as if you are wasting time because you’re not running around like a mad person. It’s amazing how anything can feel ‘normal’ once you’ve been doing it long enough. So, if that’s the case for living life like you’re running through a to-do list, then we can normalize our nervous systems to rest too.
Yes, for some of us, slowing down takes practice.
When the weather gets cooler and the nights longer, we can use this time as an opportunity to come into a more relaxed and introspective state. There is a ton of value here, but the result of our efforts might look a little different than the more extroverted activities of Spring and Summer.
The truth is we can only give to others with an open heart, without being drained in the process, if we take the time to recharge our own batteries. Make yourself a top-of the-list priority. Develop a well-rounded self-care routine. Maybe it’s a hot luxurious bath once a week, or finally reading that book that’s been sitting on your shelf. Take the time to journal more often, cook yourself wholesome meals or work on a creative project that has been rattling around in your head.
If you do find yourself feeling a bit restless when you start slow down it might be a good time to sit with that and get to the root of why you might have negative feelings or feel aimless with just being and not necessarily doing anything.
It starts with giving ourselves permission. Otherwise, we will continue to fight against those feelings of “non-productivity,” instead of seeing that paradigm for what it is; an opportunity to fill our cups so we can go back out into the world and be a positive force. Day-to-day life can feel like a bit of a pressure cooker, so take some steam out and rest. I promise you won’t regret it.