Apologies for the tardiness of this episode! I mulled over several topics earlier this week that I wanted to discuss for Tiny Bites, but none of them felt right. Which, incidentally, is how I finally decided on this week’s topic.
When I started to think about why nothing felt right for this week’s episode, I realized it was because I’d fallen into my bi-annual seasonal funk. That funk is the lovely time of year when the seasons change and your body gets thrown all out of whack.
Press play below to listen to this week’s episode, listen using one of the links above, or keep scrolling for the episode transcript!
Falling into a Fall Funk
The summer to fall/winter change is always the hardest on me. It causes me to retreat into myself while I re-group and try to figure out what I’m feeling. The old me had a tendency to beat myself up if I was feeling anything other than exuberantly happy. But, I’ve been trying to cut myself some slack and lean into the fall funk and appreciate it as a time to slow down and focus.
So, without any further ado, here’s why I think tuning into ourselves seasonally is important and why I’m not trying to run away from it this year.
I’m a Fall Freak
I love fall, I really do. It’s by far my favourite season. The fast, sometimes overwhelming and exciting pace of summer starts to fall away and we get to slow down and re-establish our normal routines.
But fall also comes with its own challenges. The days get shorter – it’s dark when we wake up and get dark again not too long after we get home from work. It’s that change that makes me want to bundle up on my couch with Netflix and a hot cup of tea more than anything else in the world.
Just Let Me Netflix in Peace
So, that’s what I’ve been doing a lot more of lately. When I start to feel the fall funk creeping over me, I normally notice it because I stop engaging in my personal relationship as much – both online and off. I haven’t posted anything on my Instagram feed in over a week. I’m just disinterested. But, not in an alarming, my mental health is at risk way. It’s just me retreating to focus on myself. During this time, a lot of things become less important in the pursuit of checking in with myself and re-aligning my goals and values as we come to the end of the year.
During the fall funk, external things just become less important to me. But, I know that they’ll be there waiting for me when I am ready to re-engage them in a meaningful way.
I never want anything I do, be it in my personal life, my work life, or my blog and social life, to be done because I feel obligated to do it. During this season, I’m not going to say yes to obligations unless I actually want to do them. This is probably something I need to be better at practising all year round. But, my automatic ‘yes’ reaction always seems to be tempered during the fall funk. It’s almost like my brain knows what’s best for me and turns off the guilt and obligation centres so I can actually spend time doing things that are better for myself in the long run.
One Part Productive, One Part Twilight
The time I’ve spent disconnected online and off has been filled with some unproductive habits like Netflix (they just added the entire Twilight Saga series, and I have been so into them). But, at the same time, it’s also been full of productive and longevity building habits like working out at the gym almost every day and starting to get back into cultivating a daily meditation practice.
I don’t know if I’ve been more willing to recommit to these things now that summer is over and I have the time, or if summer is over and now I can’t go for hikes anymore and I know I need to create some more healthy habits. Or if re-focusing my attention from other pursuits and onto myself has allowed these habits to grow.
Naval Gazing Never Hurt Anyone
It doesn’t really matter which it is actually. Because the outcome is the same. When we turn our gaze inwards on ourselves and re-focus on what we need out of our lives, some things will have to fall by the wayside. I don’t think that we can do ‘everything’. We can’t have it all, at least, not all at once. And I wouldn’t want to be pulled in all those directions at the same time anyway.
In my life, taking time for myself has meant a renewed interest in my own health, something that far outways the external artificial praise we often receive from social media (and that’s just my experience speaking). But, for you, taking time for yourself might mean you read a good book for five minutes a night or take some time after kids go to sleep to reconnect with your partner over your favourite show.
Time for a (Good) Timeout
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that you deserve to take a timeout if you’re in a similar fall funk. You don’t owe anyone anything. If you can use this period of time as an opportunity to re-focus on what’s important to you, everyone in your life will be better for it when you come out the other side.
Whatever your fall funk looks like, it’s your way of reconnecting with yourself and your life. And there’s really no wrong way to do that.
That’s it for this episode of Tiny Bites. My apologies if it was a bit of a ramble. I’m still sorting out my own fall funk but wanted to share what it has looked like and felt like with you, in case you’ve been experiencing something similar. I think it’s a natural cyclical process and the more we can lean into it and recognize it for what it is, not as a defect in our personalities or a personal failing but a time to re-connect with ourselves, the better off we’ll be.
Do you find yourself changing with the seasons? Is Fall a time you enjoy taking some extra time for yourself? Let me know in the comments!
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Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions