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A Moment to Breathe

By Melissa Davies

October…finally, a moment to breathe! The kids are back in school. Summer traffic on 95 and 66 has slightly eased as the tourists have left the region. If you work for the Federal Government, the turmoil of the fiscal year-end has finished; the performance management cycle has finished and started again, and finally life looks like it might settle down into the normal fall pace. Summer vacation seems but a distant memory!

We have approximately six weeks before the next season of stress starts in earnest – the time between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays can push us beyond our limits on the home front. So, what do we do to recover from the last go around before this next one begins?

Make some time to enjoy life!

  • Spend a Saturday in the Shenandoah Mountains taking in the amazing views and fall colors. If you can’t get that far, consider a walk in Prince William Forest. The colors won’t disappoint there either.
  • Pack a basket with assorted fall goodies including the array of pumpkin-spice everything! Grab it and the family and head to Leesylvania State Park for a lunch and a run through the leaves.
  • Have everyone in the family identify three activities that they want to do this fall. List them on note paper, place them in a large mason jar and then each Sunday night pick one from the jar. Make plans with the family to do that activity during the week. There are so many choices, from corn mazes to haunted houses to fall fairs. There are even some events for the adults in mind!
  • With your family, have a conversation about Thanksgiving plans. Have everyone list their highlights from years past while at the same time identifying the things that they’d like to change. Pick one from everyone and try to make those a reality for Thanksgiving 2017.

Before you know it, the season will be gone and we’ll be grousing about the cold of winter. Don’t let the time get away from you; make sure you enjoy it and take time to breathe!

Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of “How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work”.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at [email protected] or through

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