Autumn is my favorite time of year. I grew up in the Midwest where there are four distinct seasons, and fall is by far the most beautiful. Minnesota has an abundance of trees and I recall reveling in the beauty of the fall colors. I enjoyed watching the pigment on the leaves slowly fade from green to various shades of yellows, oranges, reds and purples before all dropping to the ground.
Autumn is a time of reflection and just like the fall trees we can shed what is no longer working. Throughout our lives we form attachments to people, places, things and ideas. Our interior and exterior lives can quickly fill up with clutter, impeding on our physical, emotional and mental space.
Being able to let go of materialistic things, expectations about yourself or unhealthy relationships will free up space for something more positive and nourishing. Such a mindset can be achieved with some effort and practice.
Here are three simple ways you can start:
- Your physical space:
When attempting to declutter your home, start small. Choose one drawer and throw away or, better yet, donate what no longer serves you a purpose. Having a more orderly home can help one to feel calm.
- Your mental space:
Reflect on the expectations you set for yourself. Make a list of all your “shoulds” and toss the ones aside that are no longer working for you. We often get bogged down by thoughts like, “I should be skinnier” or “I should be making more money”. Instead, try making a gratitude list and express appreciation for what is working. “I’m healthy” or “I have a home”.
Sometimes we need to cut ties or take space from people who emotionally drain us and leave us physically exhausted. Reflect on the relationships that draw energy away from you and leave you feeling tired, angry or resentful. Pay attention to how you feel after you see or talk to this person. Slowly distance yourself.
Start small and set positive intentions. Let go of what’s not working and invite whatever it is you want more of in your life. Expect there will be bumps along the way and that certain attachments may be harder to release than others. And of course, if you need help with this process, we’re here for you at Treehouse Counseling.
Christine Holmberg, MA, LMFT