I used to dread October. ‘The nights are drawing in’, people say. For some that means warm firesides and hot chocolate. For me it can mean a potential cloud of depression hovering just beyond the horizon, likely to blow in and envelop me in a month or so. The long hours of darkness and lack of sunlight is a real issue in these northern climes for some of us.
One of the problems with depression is it holds you in a place of helplessness. The more helpless you feel, the worse it gets and everything spirals downwards. If this is seasonally related, there’s not a lot a lot you can do about it is there? You hear other people saying brightly: ‘Autumn is my favourite season – the colours!’ and you wonder why it feels so different for you. Is there something wrong with me?
We are all made differently. Some of us battle with the darker times of year – darker in every sense. Mindfulness tells us that living more in the moment can help. It combats the dread of impending gloom. It allows you to rejoice in the good things that are happening now – however small they may be. I began to realise that if I take each moment as it comes and enjoy what I can, it has a very positive effect on both the present and the future. Journalling is an incredibly powerful tool for this.
A couple of years ago I stumbled across the October daily journalling challenge on You Tube. Several crafter / journallers were journalling each day during October using Autumn themes and colours. I decided to try it. I started looking at the apples on our tree and the falling leaves and savouring their beauty. I sketched the apples in watercolour. I filled my journal with yellow and orange and gold. I allowed myself to enjoy the colours and the blustering winds which can blow those gloomy clouds away by the sheer force of nature. It lifted my spirits. I chose to look forward to the dark evenings by the stove and I got my knitting out. I began to see winter as time to relax and enjoy a different pace. I started to put evenings at home into the dairy and enjoy holing up with my journal, washi tape and stickers. I copied out Autumnal poems and decorated round the edges. I did it for a month and by the time November came around my heart was able to give a little jump for joy when the leaves blew into swirls and the lights were on by teatime.
I still crave the sunshine, but I have my daylight bulb and I’m journalling through October again this year to make sure I embrace the joys! You would be welcome to join me in any way that works for you. Here’s how I’m doing it:
I’ve made a list of 31 October-themed words. I’m going to write them in the front of my journal. Each day I’ll pick a word and make a creative journal page around it. Some of the words may link to something in my day, others will just be for the sheer fun of a gratuitous woodland animal, or toadstool or splash of gold! You can interpret the words in any way you feel like. I find that journalling in this way makes me more attentive to the beauty and joy in the little things all around me. You can make your own list or use mine. I’ll be collecting a stash of Autumn themed washi tape, stickers, post-it notes, paintbox etc. so that when I sit down each day I have everything I need easily to hand. I’ve put a kit of supplies together so that if you would like a ready-made stash, you can get one in my Jane Journalling shop on Etsy, or you can use what you have already. I’ll also be including lots of leaves in my journal! I’ve made a You Tube video to show you an easy way of preserving them. Watch below.
Join the Facebook group if you haven’t already and we can journey through Autumn together.
Thanks for reading this far. I’m wishing you a very happy October and enjoyable journalling throughout the month! Here’s my list of October words – you may prefer to make your own.
You can download and print a copy here: words for october 18
- Hot drink
- Autumn sun
- Autumn leaves
- Ripe apples
- A flash of gold
- Woolly jumper
- Evening by the fire
- Duvet day
- Walk in the dark
- Autumn poem
- Autumn quote
- Home baking
- Good book
- Anything goes
- Thick socks and wellies
- Me time
- Walk in the woods