You’re Not Lazy, It’s Just Fall

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Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

aylight Saving Time is the bane of my existence. Suddenly it’s a dark wasteland as soon as I leave work, and it feels like every memory of warm weather and long sunny days is gone forever.

I intuitively shift my meal prep toward soups and baked treats, seeking all the warm and cozy foods that feel too hot in the summer. I feel ready for bed by 7:00pm most days (even if I still stay up until ten). I struggle to leave the warm pocket of blankets heaped on top of me in the morning.

I used to beat myself up over not doing as much in the fall and winter compared to the summer months. In the summer, I’m social, I’m active, I’m busy doing things and going places. In the fall, I am more likely to make social plans involving movie nights rather than concerts or parties.

It took me a long time to realize that this busy — the busy of resting — was just as important as summer’s socialization.

Ayurvedic patterns

Ayurveda taught me how to honor my body’s internal schedule.

Last fall, I passed the time on my one hour and fifteen minute commute to work with audiobooks and podcasts. I happened upon a book about Ayurvedic principles called Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life. I hoped that it would tell me how to organize my day to be more productive, because I was very preoccupied with being productive.

Instead, it taught me about my body’s internal schedule and how I could honor it.

Ayurveda divides the year into three seasons rather than the typical four, but to me these three seasons made so much sense. Vata is the season of the year from late fall into early winter. We are in Vata right now. The leaves are off the trees, the days are short, and the sudden decline in temperature has us all reaching for some cozy sweatpants and a warm bowl of something delicious.

Listening to this book was the first time I had ever heard the idea that fall and winter are slow, restful months. Everything suddenly made perfect sense.

Of course we crave warm, comforting foods when the world turns dark and cold. Eating the cooling foods like salads and smoothies that we ate to stay light and energized in the summer will make us feel even colder now.

Of course we are tired earlier and it’s hard to get out of bed at the same time we do in the summer. The world has changed around us and we are the only creatures on the planet trying to have the same schedule all year round.

Permission to rest

I am hibernating. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The idea that I was allowed to rest with the trees and the birds and the sun was news to me.

The trees have let go of their leaves — why? To rest, to recover energy, and to greet spring with new growth. I can rest and recover and work on just a few important areas of growth for now, so that I have my priorities and ideas ready to jump into action when the world comes back.

Some animals migrate to warmer climates or hibernate for the winter. I have to go to work, so I can’t do this, but I can migrate to a less hectic schedule and make sure I prioritize myself.

I even realized that I don’t like dating as much in the fall. I am extremely choosy about my company and social plans when it’s cold out, because this is my time. I am hibernating. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I am not lazy, unproductive, unmotivated, or failing.

I am tired. I am resting. I am pouring back into my own cup.

A few important tasks

Now is time to focus my creative energy on growing roots instead of blossoms.

Let yourself be choosy during Vata’s transition. What are the most important tasks? What can you let go of for a few months instead of doing them now?

I am working on one writing project, in addition to my daily writing for Medium. Just one. It is so hard to just do one thing, because my mind loves to wander into new ideas and I really want to play with the new ideas. But those ideas are for another time.

Now is time for one writing project.

Now is time for a 10:00pm bedtime (or earlier).

Now is time to schedule social activities that build me up instead of drain me.

Now is time to focus my creative energy on growing roots instead of blossoms.

Now is time for rest.

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials

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