Fall is my favorite season by far (and not only because November is my birthday month!). Something about the changing colors of the leaves, the cooler weather, and turning on the fireplace brings me joy. I don’t usually like change, but as someone living with IBD, I have to learn to like it. The change in weather is always tough on my body. I usually go through an adjustment period where my symptoms will flare up a bit. I’m sure others with IBD can say the same thing.
As we enter the winter months, there are a few things I want us to remember. When I get into a routine that I like, I typically don’t want to change it. Over the summer, I had a really good routine of running in the mornings before work that I just haven’t been able to keep with the sun coming up later. Below are some of the things I want us to be mindful of in the coming months.
1. Get as much sunshine as possible.
As the weather gets colder and cloudy, it is important to remember that we cannot stay in our houses all day long. I have found that taking a walk midday to get some sunshine boosts my energy and mood levels. Of course, if the weather is really bad then don’t go out, but make sure you get some fresh air to recharge and reset. As someone who is still working from home, I know how hard it can be to just take a break. Remember to set boundaries for your day and think about what you may need to help you thrive.
2. Take up a new hobby.
Many of you know that I love to read. Finishing a book for me is a proud moment and accomplishment. Sometimes I do want to do something different though. I find that I often get lonely and sometimes don’t feel like reading, so taking up a new hobby would be a good change of pace. This could include knitting, drawing, writing, etc. What better way to stay occupied and learn a new skill!
3. Make time for friends and family.
I am all work and no play. Seriously, I spend way too much time doing work and not enough time fostering my social life. This is something I am trying to work on. Having a good balance of work and play is key to making sure we do not experience burnout. As my school semester comes to a close, I am more focused on spending time with friends and family and making those memories count.
4. Take a moment to be grateful.
The holidays can be a crazy busy time of year. Let’s not forget the true meaning of the holidays and the importance of practicing gratitude. I always find that around this time of year I am extra grateful for everything I have. When I get down on myself, I try to look at my life through a different lens. I remember all that I can do and all that I am capable of doing, even with a chronic illness.
This is a season of change and we should embrace it. I have learned that I don’t like being complacent, even though it does bring a sense of comfort. In these coming months, I will be looking for adventure, new opportunities, and new hobbies to take up. Being okay with being uncomfortable is one of my main goals and I hope you and I are able to embrace that this winter.
What’s your favorite or least favorite part about the changing seasons?