I have always loved Autumn the best. Growing up, we called it Fall, but calling it Autumn makes it even more special. I love the cooling off and the variability of weather and temperatures. I live in a region with only mild changes from season to season that would have some of you scoff and query whether we even have seasons, but trust me, an HSP knows.
My sensitivity makes me finely tuned to my environment and nature is the environment I prefer. The autumn is just more friendly and inviting. The cool air fills my lungs without causing any seasonal allergies so I can breathe deeply. And I like waking up in the morning and grabbing a sweatshirt to keep me warm and comfy.
Though only a few trees change their leaves where I live, I travel to some other places where I love this time of year, Oklahoma which is Home with a capital H, and New England, famous for its autumn.
This time of year also brings with it a few challenges for highly sensitive people like us which is why I always have the autumn theme: HSP HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
The days are getting shorter and time in the sun and in nature becomes more challenging. We might have to change everything to be sure to be outside in the daytime more. A more depressed mood can sneak up on us, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can grab us and pull us down. And if you live with Daylight Savings Time, that’s a big shocker when it goes–it ends in US on Nov. 7th. (Europe is a little different.)
And the winter holidays are coming! Yes, that deserves an exclamation mark. My family has lots of autumn birthdays which end with mine on November 15th. I don’t mind the birthdays, but in the US, pressure starts to build with Halloween (October 31st) and then ramps up for Thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday in November). I don’t know about your family, but American Thanksgiving provides the perfect holiday for family guilt. I should make a special meal. I should spend it with extended family. I should travel with the masses. So many SHOULDS.
Hanukkah is HSP friendly. Low pressure, small or no gifts, honoring the light and ritual. But Christmas can really create overwhelm monsters in our families and in us. (Hanukkah is 8 nights starting Nov 28th.)
My friends, it is decidedly time to start preparing. I’m not talking about airline reservations or gift shopping because you have that lined up already if you plan to do it.
Preparation means ramping up our self-care, boundaries, and time management for those things. I have already made my decisions about how much family visiting I will participate in this season. In fact, I’m traveling to visit the family in early November to see them when they (and I) are at our best and the pressure is low.
Whether it’s Covid concerns or just how busy, crowded, and crazy things get around Christmas travel, it doesn’t seem HSP friendly to me this year, so I am hoping to stay closer to home. What decisions and plans are you making to honor your finely tuned nervous system?