Life Lessons From Bears

I’m feeling quite philosophical about Autumn this year – and it all started with fat bears!

I’ve been reading about Fat Bear Week in the United States which celebrates the resilience, adaptability and strength of brown bears as they prepare themselves for their winter hibernation. It got me thinking about how instead of mourning the loss of summer I too could use the turning of the season to prepare myself for winter.

Experts claim that Autumn is an opportunity to embrace a slower pace of life, to reflect and to put things in order. It can be a time of transformation and regeneration as we shake off the old to prepare for the new. This year I’m seeing it as a time to wind down, to rest and renew so that I can emerge feeling restored with the Spring.

I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ll be doing this Autumn to replenish myself. I hope they inspire you too.

Unfortunately, unlike the bears, this doesn’t involve eating as much as I can and sleeping for six months!

Let it go!
Clutter – physical and mental – can weigh us down and it’s so easy to accumulate ‘stuff’ through the year. So Autumn can be a good time for a clear out of unwanted or unneeded items as well as unhelpful thoughts or habits that are dragging you down. Having a clear out can make space for new ideas and inspiration and create energy for new projects.

Give in to hibernation!
As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, you might find yourself wanting to curl up with a good book and cozy blanket. Don’t fight it! Set aside some time each week (or day) to snuggle up in bed or in front of the fire, maybe with a favorite book or film and a cup of tea.

Take advantage of that extra morning hour
The clocks go back soon but instead of complaining about losing an hour of daylight, think of it as gaining an extra hour in the morning. What can you do with yours?
If it’s hard to wake up on these darker mornings, remember to keep a consistent bed time and wake up time to get your sleep pattern into a good rhythm.

Find peace in routine
Having an achievable routine can reduce stress, helps to maintain a sense of familiarity, keeps us active and improves focus too. Build in time for fresh air and exercise, for meeting friends, and for doing things that make you happy.

Take a walk in the woods
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is a natural way of raising the oxygen levels in your brain which releases more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes happiness. This is also the perfect time of the year to immerse yourself in the beauty of the changing colours.
While you’re out and about try one of these easy mindful exercises to reduce stress and increase well-being:

  • Pick a colour, then see how many things you can count in that colour.
  • Quietly sit on a park bench and name the colours as you watch a tree drop its leaves.

“If the plant does not become dormant in the winter, it cannot be re-born in the Spring”
Thich Nhat Hanh

While this can be a warm, cosy time of the year with lamplight and glowing fires, for lots of people the lack of daylight can really get them down. Read more about overcoming low mood in autumn and winter here.

Hypnotherapy can be really great for helping to boost your mood. Please do get in touch if you’d like a chat.

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