It has been dreary here in Maine this October. It’s easy to feel down when the darkness, cold and rain are present, especially after a bright and beautiful summer. Naturally, we all want to find some comfort and warmth to ease the damp chill outside.
I’ve noticed that many people think comfort is about numbing out or becoming detached. Activities that could promote mindlessness include watching TV, eating, drinking, getting lost in the internet, and looking at things to buy. I’m not saying that these activities are bad. They just aren’t likely to have a lasting positive impact on mood. In other words, they may not provide true comfort.
Comfort really comes from tuning in: being connected to ourselves, our environment, and to others. There is comfort in providing a pleasant experience to our senses, that makes us keenly aware, not checked out. You can feel comforted and connected bundling up to take a walk, where you notice the warmth of your body compared to the cool fall air, all while taking in the scenery around you.
I like to have pleasant smells and warm, hearty foods in the house. Making squash, pumpkins, or apple sauce provides an aroma and healthy, seasonal foods that can be enjoyed.
Great comfort comes from connecting with others. Fall is a great time to hike, have a cup of coffee or tea, pick apples, cook, can, or just sit and talk with friends and family. I personally like to snuggle in and read Brown Bear, Brown Bear with my munchkin.
We all need a plan for weathering the emotional changes that come with the darker, colder seasons. Intentionally find activities that allow you to be mindful, tuned-in and connected with yourself and others. Have a plan ready for the short days ahead. For more ideas, check out my thoughts on SAD Prevention and Depression.
Where do you find comfort?