We are facing so much change. We are entering into the autumn/ winter season and here, in Cardiff we are also now in lockdown 2.0. This could feel a bit overwhelming. It seems that life was getting back to somewhat normal and we were able to thrive and plan again. However, with new restrictions in place, there is a sense of going backwards and an overall gloomy mood.
I understand that measures need to be put into place, but at first being told to stay within the county seemed so strange and Claus trophic- I feel a slight urge of resistance. At first, thought of all the lovely places outside of my county I wouldn't be able to go to. I regularly visit the vale for morning beach walks and knowing that I would be unable to do that made me feel a bit sad!
However, instead of dwelling on the things that I can't do or can't go to - I am embracing the new lockdown.
September passes too quickly, but time now seems to be naturally slowing down. Instead of rushing, producing, achieving and thriving. Let's just survive! Let's just go easily. Let's resist the internalised capitalism!
Knowing that I am going to be spending so much time at home I've started to "nest" for the autumn/winter lockdown. I've mixed up my small home a bit to create a space that feels cosy, comfortable and ready for the new season ahead.
This post will detail how I've nested and some other acts to welcome in the season - which has helped me feel less anxious about the times to come. But then what works for me, doesn't work for all. And if all you want to do is nothing right now then do that. Listen to your needs. For me, putting these practices in place has been so vital to overcome any unwanted doom!
I'm sharing this in the hope that some of this can help someone feel less overwhelmed with everything that's going on. This period of season change can be something that we enjoy/ embrace.
I love autumn - & I want to relish in it as much as possible. I love all of its clichés; cold fresh mornings, cosy jumpers, hot drinks, all of the spices, changing leaves, crackling fires. But even with my love for the season; it seems unless properly prepared then the hot days turning to cold can make me feel a little gloomy.
My process started at home.
I was lucky to have a Monday off work and I had the urge to switch things around. Here's some things that I did.
-Move around the furniture to make the space feel different
-Think of cosier ways to arrange your space
(For example, I shifted up my sofa up to the wall and now it feels like a cosy little nook.) -Add in extra blankets, throws, materials for warmth and comfort.
(I have some notes at the bottom to do things sustainably and urge people not to go out to buy lots of new unnecessary things.)
-Essential oil candles with scents to represent the seasons. I am in love with The Smallest Light's seasonal candles and Laura has so much lovely content about the seasons too. Laura describes autumn as "it feels to me just like that time before bed when we want to wind down with a hot drink and a blanket, a feeling of yearning for hearth and home - one that seeps into our bones." Here's a lovely autumn story which discusses Autumn memories and essential oil blends on Laura's blog.
-Bring the outdoors in ; with leaves & flowers and create a mini seasonal display with candles.
-Add posters/ drawings/ art on walls. Extra colour and materials on the walls makes spaces feel warmer. You don't have to go out to buy new pieces for this. I have a drawing by my friend's 4 year old up. My favourite dressing gown is hung up on my door and acts as an art piece in it's own right!
-Add fairy lights/ lamps/ candles to your room for cosier lighting.
-When creating your space ready for the season you don't need to run out and go to a shop which is selling the latest on trend thing.
-You can add cosy art to your house by pinning up drawings, getting creative to do some crafts, save lovely birthday cards or carded leaflets and hang them on the wall.
-Look for blankets/ throws in charity shops.
-Do swaps with friends. I have a lovely crotchet blanket that my friend no longer wanted.
-Simply moving things around is enough to make a space feel different.
EMBRACING SEASON CHANGE.
Here's some things I have been doing to welcome in Autumn
-Pause & reflect on the season before. What are you grateful for during summer? What were your highlights? We tend to rush rush rush through life. Days, weeks & months pass us by so quickly! Fight the urge to constantly need to be productive. Do nothing - sit with your thoughts. Taking time to pause whilst the seasons change help us to reflect on the days gone and to prepare us for the days to come.
- Write a could do list for the season such as: go for walk to see the leaves changing colour,try out a new seasonal recipe, go on an early morning cold cycle, get lost in a film/book.
-Put away summer clothes for next year and bring out your autumn/ winter ones.
-Make herbal tea blends using warming spices.
-Create essential oil blends. Add to a carrier oil for little pulse point rubs or add to a bottle to create a room spray ( you can also gift these to friends.)
-Make milk steamers. It's so simple but very satisfying. Oat milk, maple & spices of choice. Add to a saucepan and gently heat.
-Eat the seasons. If you can, support your local growers and shop for seasonal local veg. Harvest is a time of bounty and there is lots of wonders to
Nigel beautifully describes the change of seasons:
"The lush green of summer has turned to yellow, orange and brown, the spice jars are down
from the shelf, the deep casseroles and baking dishes have come out to play.
Tomatoes, which I seem to have eaten every day this summer, are now destined for the oven rather than the salad bowl, their juices seasoned with thyme rather than basil, or perhaps paprika or harissa. The mushrooms I marinated in a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and
tarragon are now more likely to appear sliced and fried with thyme and butter and piled on to thick toast. The courgettes have finished and I have moved on to the early autumn squashes, the small ones shaped like Chinese dumplings or ridged like the rim of an apple pie...this is a change of bounty."
-Practice yoga/ meditation which focuses on season change & welcoming in Autumn. There's lots of free content online!
-Plan a harvest dinner or get dates in for outside meet up with friends. My group of friends are all big lovers of food and cooking. So our plans usually involve lots of yummy food. Plan a harvest dinner where everyone has to bring a dish. Luckily we can still meet up with friends outside at a distance. So cosy up, get the blankets out and have your harvest feast in a park.
With these practices in place l am feeling more ready for the change and ready for the lockdown 2.0. I am no mental health expert. But I recognise the things that I do which have a positive impact on my wellbeing. In these challenging covid times, its important that we focus on our selves too. Listen to how we are feeling and how we can give in to that. I feel I have had time to pause and reflect. And now I am slowing down as I enter into a period of hibernation at home.
I hope this little post will help any un-easeful feelings you may have had. If you want to message me about anything my DMs are always open :)
If you try out any of these practices then please share with us on instagram at @wildthingcardiff