“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Full disclosure: I feel a little like a hypocrite writing about the excitement of autumn. Summer is my favorite season and seeing it end has always been bittersweet. Summer for me is about awakening your senses and creating warm spaces wherever you happen to be, knowing each day will bring the promise of sunshine, weekends on the patio with friends, and evenings poolside sipping iced tea with fresh mint. Summer seems like an invitation to self-care. The days are longer, and it’s easier to find your own moments of mindfulness.
Summer is also the time we refine our new autumn garden collections, work with chefs, mixologists, and leaders in the healthcare space on the perfect fall garden assortment. A collection of gardens full of refined, evolved flavors – curated to reflect the season’s pace, energy, and traditions. Fall feels like you are coming home. All the flavors- the leafy greens, crisp rooted vegetables, and layers of the most refreshing seasonal herbs that bring the season to light. Fall is the time many of us return to our desks- return to the routines of the work week and the pace of the season. (Who doesn’t love a bouquet of freshly sharpened #2 pencils on their desk or the scent of newly harvested rosemary?)
So how do we bring the happiness of a new season together with our own personal promise of self-care?
Every day I talk about the importance of self-care: in full disclosure, I don’t always follow my own advice, and red vines for breakfast sometimes seems appropriate. I get how easy it is to deprioritize your own care. Even when we know what we need to do to show up as our best selves, the practice and routines of self-care can be the first things to go when life slows down or speeds up.
True self-care means having the capacity to make healthy choices for yourself, your team, your family, your community, and the planet through challenges as well as through moments of joy and celebration.
Fall is that invitation- “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Self-care is not selfish, it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and those we love because we cannot give from an empty well. August was national wellness month, a month to recognize and celebrate the importance of prioritizing wellness and self-care. Autumn is the season of sustainable self-care. Self-care means we are making a commitment to take an active role in safeguarding our mental and physical wellness. Doing things that are good for us – increasing our emotional and physical stamina, improving our self-esteem, and building resilience. (As noted in recent research, gardening is a conduit to improved mental and physical health and a means to building resilience. Preventative Medicine Research and Reports. Gardening is an invitation to preventative care and consistent self-care.
The big opportunity in front of each of us is this: what are we going to do this season to be an example of self-care? I’ve thought about it a lot, I talk about it, and I believe that we are the answer. We can be our own lighthouse and a lighthouse to others – giving permission to rethink what well-being looks like. We are the ones who must model a different way forward.
As daylight hours become shorter, I invite all of us to embrace the opportunity to reconnect with nature. Enjoy the crisp mornings, the scents of the season, harvest suppers, surrounded by moments inspired by nature. Taking the time to appreciate little moments of beauty and connection can transform your season. Savor the small moments when you take a few extra minutes to get a little dirty, to nurture nature and let nature nurture you.
My wish for you is to give yourself grace to put yourself on your to do list. To linger a little longer over a cup of hot tea with fresh lemon balm, to tackle your day at work with a new perspective, because as it turns out small changes bring big rewards. Get a little dirty this fall, eat a few more leafy greens, harvest the beauty of growing gratitude, and embrace your season at hand.