The changing of the season from Summer to Autumn triggers two reactions from me:
1 – a desire to be outside in the fresh air, watching the red and golden-brown leaves falling in the crisp Autumn breeze; and
2 – the digging out of my onesie and slipper socks ready for cosy nights in front of the fire (sadly not a log burner yet!) as the dark nights draw in.
This got me thinking about nature and nurture – not the classical debate of whether it is one or the other that shapes who we are – more about how I have realised, since my burnout last year, how important nature and nurture have been on my road to recovery and continue to be so.
Let me explain.
I have always loved the outdoors since I was a child and I absolutely love the whole idea of long walks in the countryside (including the obligatory pub stop or two along the way!). The thing is, until last year, I tended to think about being out in nature more than I was actually out in nature. Does that sound familiar to you?
During my recovery last year, getting out and walking became one of my top priorities, not least of which because I had lost the ability to walk for several days as a result of my burnout. What I found though was that being out in nature – in the elements with all the sights, sounds and smells that brings – lifted me emotionally and mentally as well as physically. Talk about the best medicine ever – and it is free!
The nurture side was not quite so easy to prioritise however as this required a real shift in my mindset. Putting nurturing and taking care of myself at the top of my priority list was not something I was very good at, at all, hence the burnout! I am still a work in progress now if I am being completely honest with you. However, the more I made those pockets of ‘me time’ a priority, the more I began to notice I was getting stronger – emotionally, mentally as well as physically again.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Well, it occurs to me that it is fantastic how Autumn triggers my desire for more nature and more nurture in my life, whatever shape or form that takes because it means that I will continue to grow stronger in myself at a time when I used to feel like hibernating till Spring came along. There are many benefits to that increasing strength, a major one being that I am better able to be the best version of me that I can be, for myself and for those around me.
As the darker nights draw in and the temperature drops, my encouragement to you is to find a way to bring more nature and nurture into your day to day routine. Make those deposits in your Burn Bright Bank Account (for more information on this, click here) so that you head towards to the winter months burning bright!
With love and self-care wishes,
Photo by Ursula Kelly @studiosoftbox