Friday, 10 May 2019 00:00


find a more balanced path to walk this autumn

It feels like it was January just yesterday, and yet in actual fact we are half way through May and heading toward the middle of year within just a few weeks. The year seems to speeding by and it feels like, just overnight, it got kinda cold too. 

Autumn takes a while to really show her (very pretty) colours, so the first part of the season is usually quite warm with plenty of green leaves still showing. Now though, it really feels like the cooler part of the year has begun. Slippers have made their way out of closets, heaters have regained pride of place in the living room, and additional layers are within reach at bedtime. 

Autumn offers us an opportunity to shift, to release and let go that which we no longer need.

But why should we bother? Because as the Winter approaches and our energy dwindles even further, we will be better able to focus our limited energy and resources on what actually matters.  Our priorities should become our focus and we can simply forget about the rest. Our energy is dissipated and frenzied in the Summer, we want to see everyone, do everything, play, laugh, live. But with autumn our excess energy diminishes, retracts and we must be more discerning with how we expend ourselves and our time.  But how do we determine our priorities if we’re not entirely sure? How can we pull back and keep some time and energy for ourselves instead of giving it all up leaving us exhausted and likely very depleated (and more vulnerable to colds and the flu) ? 

Look at how you can find more balance in your life right now: 

Perhaps you are investing too much time and effort into your day job but not spending enough quality time with loved ones at home. Or maybe you have a full time job as well as volunteer for various organisations, plus you have sporting commitments….and you wonder why you are burnt out? When we get sick, when we feel tired, when we find ourselves reaching for the unhealthy convenience foods or having arguments with loved ones, it can be a sign that there is something out of balance in our lives. If we can better allocate our time and resources to that which matters, that which we value, we have the momentum to be more productive at work, allow more time to rest and dedicate ourselves to nurturing our relationships.

Make the most important things count: 

List what you value the most in your life. Perhaps its time with friends or family, feeling content in your work life and feeling good about yourself and your heath. It might be developing your home business, saving for an overseas trip or achieving great marks in your study. Whatever your priorities may be, this is where you need to dedicate your time and energy. Consider what activities might be diverting you away from the things you care about. TV and social media are excellent time suckers, it’s easy to lose track of just how much time you spend on these distractions. Try to monitor your time over a week and see just where you do spend it, including any spare time. How can you better allocate your precious time? Could you go to bed an hour earlier in the evenings (making for more a more productive and energetic following day) rather than flick through shows you’re not actually interested in or scrolling mindlessly on Instagram or Facebook? 

Balance your budget 

It’s also a good time of year to assess where you spend you money. Create a pie chart looking at where your money goes. Go through bank statements, credit card bills and EFTPOS transactions to get an accurate idea of where your money goes. You may be surprised to find you spend more than 10% of your wages on takeaway and weekly lunches, or more than you realised on going out drinking with mates or shopping for clothes. As the end of the financial year looms it’s good to make a self assessment of your financial situation before it’s time to lodge a tax return, so you have the full picture of your finances. Think about finding ways to reallocate funds toward building up your savings while reducing spending on frivolous things. Invest more into what you value and which will help enhance your quality of life.

Implementing change in our lives can be hard, but being stuck in a rut or feeling drained is worse. See what little changes you can make in your life to create space for things and people you love. Simplify things to reduce overwhelm and overspending and bring more balance and joy into your life. And don’t forget to enjoy the changing Autumn leaves as they reveal their colours over the last few weeks of the season.  

Alison Gallagher is a freelance writer, resourcefulness expert and entrepreneur. She has been featured in various publications including Stellar Magazine, Australian Health and Fitness Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald and Cleo Magazine. Alison is particularly passionate about sharing practical tips on how to live simply, sustainably and seasonally.