Right around this time of year, there is always a day where it hits… all of a sudden…. seemingly overnight… the mornings are brisker, a little darker and quieter.
Sunny days still happen, but with less warmth in your bones.
Fall happens to be my favorite since it is still bursting with the summer’s seasonal bounty, colorful trees, and harvest parties.
But there’s something about the transition from Summer to Fall that always feels a little more intense for me- full of mixed emotions and physical manifestations of change.
It usually lasts a week or two and by now I know to just let it BE. To expect it. And to respect it.
This lesson is true for me for most life changes… and transitions… and growth- the anticipation is often harder than the actual change.
So, for now: I’m leaning even more heavily on my routines and daily rituals to help ground and calm me [and remind me to be kind to myself and just stay in tune with what my body and mind need right now].
So this past week, I started making a list of all the things I do naturally at this point.
The point is the same for all of them: to always simply be intentional of where my time and energy are going. To stay focused on the things that truly matter to me, including those that inspire and light me up, no matter the weather or other transitions taking place around me [many of which are completely outside of my control].
For me, changes in season are always a great time to just REFOCUS on the big picture… but also find ways to just stop and delight in daily life. Each season brings little nuances and special things about it to treasure; be it different types of food, routines, the weather or whatever else.
The season’s change is also a natural time to just check in with myself too. To remind myself of my big values in life, my intentions and goals, and how I want to feel and show up daily in my life.
So here is my list. I’m sharing it with you in confidence and in the hope that it inspires you to try some of these things, or come up with your own!
1. Journal- In order to identify what my intentions are and what I want to create in the season ahead, journaling is always my first place to go so I can get all my emotions, thoughts, and ALL THE FEELS out on paper first, without editing or organizing. Then, I can re-read it and identify both the things I’m craving more of and also ways to be proactive about anything else I may be worried and/or thinking about. I start by writing down my fears. Vulnerable? Yes. Transformative? Absolutely. When you identify your fears about the day, the month, or the season you are able to whittle down what it is that you truly desire. Here is one of my fears: “I have fear that I will feel sad in the darkness of winter.” Upon realizing this I was able to recognize my desire/longing for more community to engage with during the winter. Now I have a direction and a specific goal: “build community.”
2. Find some new [seasonal] recipes- This is one one of my oldest rituals that I now do without thinking about. But it’s a good one! Each change in season I pull out all my favorite cookbooks. This process gets me excited about all the new foods that are in season and gets my own creative brain going on different combos, tweaks, etc. Fall and winter is when I cook the most because it’s an activity that feels so productive and rewarding, and without summer sunshine, this feels like the next best way to creatively re-charge. When I feel inspired and excited about things, I’m more motivated to do them and enjoy them.
3. Make a seasonal bucket list- As basic as it is, who doesn’t love a good pumpkin patch visit, tailgate, chili cookoff or fall harvest party? Schedule it [or lord knows it won’t happen]. Savor it. Have fun. Cross it off. And repeat.
4. “Detox your environment”- Clear out your closets. And desk. And old papers. And anything you haven’t used in a year— to goodwill it goes. It’s as energetic as much as it is physical. Use the start of each season to make room for new energy, new ideas and new perspectives. Just as spring inspires us to do some spring cleaning, lean into the calling that fall offers to do the same. Then head to your pantry, freezer and fridge. Wipe it down while you’re at it too— the change in season is the perfect time to do things like this that are never urgent, but SO nice when they’re done. As you detox, you make room for fresh new food, creativity and ideas pertaining to food.
5. Check in and tweak your self-care routine [or make a new list]- Hot epsom salt baths are only nice when it’s colder out, so add fun seasonal things like that to your list [maybe book an infrared sauna visit or two just to feel that warmth and get all the detox boost while you’re at it]. Or maybe consider switching up your natural skincare products by adding in some more rich face serums or body oils. Right now, I’m loving this for the evening. And oh do I feel like royalty using this body oil after showers or baths.
6. Switch up your workouts or try a new one- It’s good for your brain [and body] to get a little uncomfortable sometimes. Besides, there is no better use of your time than spending it IN your body, getting stronger, more flexible or just more in tune. It’s always worth it. Check in with your own body and what it needs a little more of lately… then book a few things to try them out. The goal is always to have a good ratio of strengthening and lengthening to endurance. I’ve been loving pilates combined with a bit of running. But now that fall is in the air, I’m going to switch gears and build in more warm yoga.
Here’s the deal… whatever shift or change or transition you may be feeling right now, it’s all normal. Lean into it. It’s all part of the human experience and it’s a good sign you’re tuned in enough to feel these things. Take some time this weekend to journal your thoughts, make some plans and build some rituals.
To your vibrant self,