I was admiring the notebook of the daughter of a friend of mine yesterday, next to the new pencil case and freshly sharp pencils all ready for the start of school. It was a series of gold embossed moons, going from new to wax to wane and it had written above it, “Embrace New Beginnings”. How perfect for this time of year.
I love the start of autumn, it’s the beginning of the crisp new season and a great time of year for resolutions. As opposed to dreary January and the heaviness of a year ahead, there’s a joy in the air and a lightness to a new beginning made in September. You can treasure the idea of starting a hobby, habit or plan, like a gift to yourself before Christmas. I’m looking forward to starting to do something to the house in preparation for hunkering down in front of the fire as the nights draw in, and refreshing my fitness routine, which has been neglected in a treat laden summer.
Yet it’s bittersweet. For mental health too, there’s a reality about the darker days that often brings on sadder thoughts as we become more light deprived. I must admit to wrestling with some depressed modes and trying to give myself a little shake to say “I won’t go there”.
Part of the reason for my uncertainty is the sense that you get at this time of year of stepping into the unknown. The future isn’t set, and I’d really encourage you to jump in there and use all the tricks of the trade at this time of year to support your mental health. In our online group #mentalhealthartists there will be new missions coming up to World Mental Health Day in October that I’m keen to share, and we’re planning a weekend retreat in June next year as well – lots to look forward to – as well as starting our weekly meet up group again. Can’t wait.
Embrace new beginnings even with their bittersweetness. In this “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – harvest them now, the fruit of all your labours of this year so far. It’s the best time of year to do it.