Updated: May 22
I invite you to join me in clearing space to let your body and mind truly rest.
When the leaves start changing color I feel like the volume turns down and a nesting instinct kicks in.
A switch is flipped and triggers something similar to the spring cleaning urge. But first comes the fatigue...
Our weather in northwest Washington recently changed quickly from summer to autumn. Soon after this, it seemed all around me erupted a chorus of "I'm just so TIRED!"
The change in light and temperature cause a hormonal change in serotonin and melatonin, which affect mood, appetite and sleep patterns.
For some people, this means depression, anxiety, fatigue and irritability can grow or creep in. Raise your hand if you're there already!
My Seasonal Mood Changes
My family moved to Seattle from sunny eastern Washington when I was 10 and my Mum noticed the first winter that my mood changed dramatically. When she realized this was a seasonal pattern, she jumped on a chance for me to participate in one of the first seasonal affective disorder studies.
Everyone in the study was issued a light that mimicked sunlight and early each morning for two weeks it turned on slowly. The theory was that the light would help brighten moods and provide more energy.
I felt no change and was even more irritated than normal by the early morning light.
Turns out I was part of the control group and was issued a lower level light. It was a double-blind study, so neither the researchers or the participants knew who had low-level lights.
But afterwards, a kind doctor said he thought I'd benefit from the true light, so they loaned me one for another two weeks.
And it made a difference! Mum bought me a light I still use every winter to lift my mood. I also try to go somewhere sunny every winter - even a short trip makes a huge difference because for weeks I'm excited to go, then the memory stays with me for another few weeks.
But what to do for aaaallll that time at home with shorter days and chilly winds...or pandemic winters where it's hard to get away?
I clear a "cozy place" to find refuge and recharge.
Autumn is a puurrfect time to clear space for nourishing, restful indoor activities...including cat napping!
Creating this safe, comfortable, stress-free place can help keep us from sliding down the slippery slope toward winter blues and set us up for a peaceful winter. It also gives our bodies and minds the deeply needed rest we need to stay healthy.
For me, this means clearing space for crafts and hobbies, for cooking nutritious food, for curling up on the couch with the cats and a book, or with Netflix when everything else feels like too much work!
My two favorite cozy spots are the corner of the couch and my bathtub, both of which, when I look honestly at them, are messy and not very clean...
I invite you to join me in making space to truly, deeply rest this season by clearing your cozy spot(s).
I wrote about how to do this and showed pictures of my couch cozy place on the first day of my Spring Cleaning Challenge.
Now it's time for the Autumn Clearing Challenge!
More details on this coming soon, but until then, head to my Clear Your Cozy Spot post to make this space for yourself.
The feedback I got about this was wonderful! Do it for yourself and I guarantee you won't regret it...
Please remember that I'm here for you! Reach out if you have questions and/or you feel stuck.
There's no need to struggle with clutter anymore - you're not alone and I can help you feel better right away.
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