Skip to main content
Community Health: Education, Prevention & Inspiration

Give yourself permission to slow down

In the northern hemisphere, we officially welcomed the season of fall on September 22. While I can appreciate certain aspects of all the seasons, fall ushers in many of my favorite things: colorful leaves, temperatures cool enough for cozy sweaters and the comfort of a warm cup of tea.

Typically, my least favorite trait of fall is the increased hours of darkness. On the autumnal equinox we experience equal hours of daylight and darkness before the hours of daylight progressively get shorter until the winter solstice when light once again prevails.

I’ve noticed a shift in myself this year where I am embracing the early darkness. I realized what it is giving me is a sense of a permission to slow down. When it is light out well into the evening, I tend to keep doing and doing, often not taking time to relax before turning in for the night.

As we welcome the season of transition and transformation, I invite you to take time for reflection, slowing down, perhaps create a sense of ease around your concept of change. Can you find opportunities in your day or your week for any of the following:

  • Say no to taking on an additional task
  • Take three deep inhales and exhales
  • Journal
  • Indulge in a book or hobby you enjoy
  • Go to bed early
  • Take in the beautiful fall colors
  • Enjoy a sunrise/sunset

Originally credited to Sylvia Boorstein, one of my favorite expressions is “Don’t just do something, sit there.” In the yoga community, this phrase is often referenced as a prompt to meditate. For me this quote serves as a good reminder of how much more difficult it can be to slow down versus staying in the mode of productivity and multitasking. Let this be your mantra as you ease into the season of rest and rejuvenation.