October has always been my favourite month. Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday. Or maybe it’s because it’s a month of change and transformation, a change of season. Or maybe it’s simply because it is always a month to get out in nature. It is stunning. It is a month and a season of contrasts; The autumnal colours of the trees and leaves, the golden shades of the falling leaves, symbolizing the end of an era, and the end of things once loved.
But the Azur blue, cloudless skies, yes, the sheer bright blue skies, with the hopes of the future, yet still clinging on to last summer. It is a juxtaposition of lingering moments, and a shifting, moving forward, to new times ahead.
This pushing and pulling during the month of October makes me intensely happy, ever hopeful for the future, but reminiscently sad, sometimes with a slight tug in my stomach at the things left behind.
I am a dreamer, an optimist, a traveller, a writer, a thinker, (perhaps too much so sometimes…), and yes, I also run retreats too. But throughout this month each year October has never failed to give me a present, a gift, (no, not in the birthday present sense…), an insight, an urge, a new idea, a light-bulb moment, a hope, a dream, a vision… and I am sure this year will be no different…
Most people sit back and wait until 1st January to set their goals, and dreams for the next year… But for me, it has always been October when I do this. Why? I’m not sure… Maybe it is because it’s my Birthday month and I’m another year older. A time for reflection…
But what I also use this month for is to allow myself even more self-love and care than I have given myself before. I use it as a time to reflect. And I treat myself, I am kind to myself, I am careful with myself. And I love myself… more than maybe I had been doing before…
It is a proven fact that;
People who are happy make better decisions and life choices.
People who are happy make themselves, and others, even happier.
People who are happy are healthier and live longer.
So with this in mind, here are my Top 12 ways to give yourself more self-love and become even happier in October;
Try to go to bed before midnight, and leave your blinds/curtains open so that you wake up slowly and gently with natural sunlight.
Sit up and meditate as soon as you wake up. 10-15 minutes is fine, but make sure it’s the first thing you do before anything, even before checking your phone!
Choose inspirational and uplifting texts to read. The more words of positivity you read and absorb each day, the greater effect it will have on your daily life.
Again, this is a good practice to start your day with. 15-20 minutes is fine. It can be very gentle and a great way to celebrate a new morning.
It really doesn’t matter what or how you write. Write a diary, a journal, a travel log, a blog, a letter to a friend… Laptop, or pen & paper, it’s up to you, (although I prefer good old-fashioned pen and paper as it's another means to reducing your technology use and positive ions).
This doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to go far. Jump on any bus and take a mystery bus ride in your local town… You never know where you’ll end up or who’ll you meet.
7. Take a photo (or paint a picture)
You don’t have to have an expensive camera. A five euro disposable one will do… But it will give you a new perspective on the things that you take for granted and see everyday.
Go for a walk or a cycle ride. Feel the sun on your face, the breeze in your hair. It never fails to invigorate you.
Go outside into nature. Go to the park, the forest, the river, the woods, the lake. Even for just 20 minutes. (Although clinical studies have shown that 2 hours of nature sounds reduce stress hormones by up to 800%!).
We all know that music is good for the soul. Music can change your mood in an instant. Classical, pop, rock, it’s up to you. Sit back and just listen, or jump up and dance!
We all need some quiet time alone, but we all also need the company of others. It keeps us connected and with a purpose in our own little community. Meet family or friends whenever you can. Have a cuppa and a chat, or share one of the above things from this list together.
Find time and space for yourself. Solitude is necessary for our mind, body and spirit to refresh and recharge. If you can, why not come on a retreat…