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Autumn is almost upon us and the beginning of a new season is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and change up your day-to-day routine. Implementing small changes to improve your routine to make the end of summer a little bit more enjoyable can be achieved through the practice of mindfulness. In this method of self-reflection you get what you put in, meaning that that your gain will be measured through the level of dedication that you apply in attaining mindfulness. For those that aren’t familiar with the concept of mindfulness, it is the idea of consciously reaching a level of awareness that allows you to fully understand and appreciate the small moments of joy that would normally be passed by during the chaos of life. An example of mindfulness might include taking time to eat a meal to fully taste and savour all of its flavours, or perhaps stepping outside from a cool, air conditioned office and enjoying the warmth of the sun against your skin.

As the temperatures begin to drop and the sun sets earlier, it is the time of year that many people find themselves in a funk. Practicing mindfulness is a fantastic way to promote gratitude, productivity and happiness through actively changing up your routine to prevent yourself from catching a case of the cold weather blues. The steps you take to practice mindfulness are unique to you. To name a few, you may choose to become more aware of you mental health, you may keep a gratitude journal, you may embrace challenges and step out of you comfort zone, or maybe you might want to pay it forward and feel fulfilled by improving the lives of others.

A new hashtag has been implemented on the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA)’s social media called #MindfulMondays – a weekly occurrence that challenges or reminds you to practice mindfulness. The posts provide guidelines, but whether the practice is internal (for the benefit of your personal growth) or external (for the benefit of the community) is up to you. While the last weeks of summer approach us, try to remain aware of the trace that you leave and make active decisions to keep our waterfront and downtown clean. Sit on the shore and appreciate the energy of the lake. Take in the natural power of the waves on a windy day. See the beauty in the transition of seasons and embrace the wonderful colours of autumn as you stroll through Downtown Barrie. There are so many fantastic possibilities that surround us. Practice yoga and meditation at Ann Green Yoga or at Green Sprouts. Take a moment to reflect while you sip your tea at Bohemia or Barrie Bean Counter. Get lost in the live music at TLC Bistro & Cafe or become educated on holistic health at Well Now.

The best part of practicing mindfulness is that it allows you to transform the negative to positive, so the next time you find yourselves in a rut, take a moment, take a breath and work the magic of mindfulness.